Award-winning system offers flexibility and best value
Vangen helps Wolverhampton to deliver a “lovely” meals on wheels service
Wolverhampton City Council has provided a meals on wheels service for over 25 years. Recently the Council has switched over to Vangen, the award-winning system developed by British manufacturer Moffat.
“We reviewed the whole meals on wheels service provision, including delivery issues, cost and quality,” says Tina Lauchlan, Operations Manager of Wolverhampton City Council’s Catering and Cleaning Services department. “A variety of systems were brought to the drawing board. However, it was clear that the best value option financially was to invest in the regeneration system offered by Vangen.”
Moffat’s meals on wheels system, Vangen, allows caterers to either regenerate or hold cooked meals in the delivery vehicles ‘en route’. The system comprises the regen oven, which runs off a specially designed inverter, the vehicle (as specified by the client) and special trays that hold the food safely, with no spills. The trays, like the ovens, are bespoke designs, built to match the client’s specifications. The vans might also have a fridge and freezer for transporting cold desserts and frozen meals for recipients who want to heat up their own meals later in the day.
As part of the new regime, the Council decided that meals on wheels would no longer be an assessed service, but rather would be open to all Wolverhampton residents who need it. The Catering and Cleaning Services department would take on the provision of the whole service. In addition, meals would be regenerated from frozen, rather than produced fresh. “The Vangen system ensures meals do not become over-cooked, and we have different program times, dependant on the amount and type of meal,” says Tina. “There is also the facility which will hold the meal at the correct temperature, rather than it continuing to cook.
“Vangen enables the meal to be delivered at its optimum quality and condition.”
Prior to the switch to the new service, Wolverhampton City Council invited some of its meals on wheels clients to have lunch with the Mayor, so that they could see what the meals would be like. “Initially there was some reluctance from our clients, because of the switch from freshly produced meals. However, over the months we have seen numbers rise and we now deliver 1450 meals a week, which is a great achievement.”
Vangen has allowed Wolverhampton to offer a more flexible service. “It’s very different compared to how it used to be. The clients can select what days that want the service, and we have a wide range of meals to choose from on a daily basis.
“We have received many positive comments about how lovely and hot the meals are!”
It’s not just the clients who like Vangen – staff have embraced it, too. “The drivers initially wanted to stick with the old system,” says Tina. “But the quality of the food, the simplicity of the Vangen and the positive reaction from clients has totally won them over.”
Being totally electric means Vangen is very safe, easy to operate and reliable. As well as holding and regenerating hot food, it can be adapted to a variety of vehicles and is equally suited to cook chill, cook freeze or hotline.
“The Vangen system has enabled us to continue to provide the residents of Wolverhampton with a vital service,” says Tina. “In these times of change, we feel we have a meals on wheels provision that we can grow and develop further.”
E & R Moffat is one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of quality foodservice equipment, designing and manufacturing in-house. Based in Bonnybridge, Scotland, the company manufactures standard and bespoke servery, regeneration and storage equipment and runs a full nationwide after-sales engineering team. E & R Moffat is accredited to ISO 9001:2008 and many of the products have gas approvals and are EMC tested. For more information on E & R Moffat visit the website on www.ermoffat.co.uk
Toni Turner at The Publicity Works: 01263 761000 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gordon McIntosh at E & R Moffat: (01324) 812272
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Wolverhampton City Council: www.wolverhampton.gov.uk