A few days ago the Canterbury District Health Board announced it was increasing the cost of its meals from $3.80 to $5.20 – to cover steeply rising fuel and food prices. The price rise will happen on November 1.

It is the first increase since 2000. This isn’t about ‘profit margins’. It’s basically to ensure that the service remains viable: without the increase the service was looking at a $200,000 loss this financial year.

I know something about the Meals on Wheels – my mother receives they're meals three times a week. Every lunchtime on Monday, Tuesday and Friday, without fail, a volunteer will deliver the meal to my mother’s door.

For many elderly folk their only substantial meals come from the Meals on Wheels service.

Some of the elderly who receive meals are also dealing with increased rents – thanks to the massive 24 percent increase imposed on them by the truly abysmal Christchurch City Council.

Christchurch City Missioner Michael Gorman says many will not be able to afford the increase but will not say anything. He says a lot of the elderly are on fixed incomes or benefits and will be stretched to meet costs.

It’s an invaluable social service yet it has received no additional government funding.

Of course, one would of thought that the Christchurch City Council could have also helped out – after all, it found $17 million for a failed property developer.


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