FAQ

FAQs for Meals on Wheels Service

Is there a Meals on Wheels provider in my area?

The interactive map will help you find if there is a meals on wheels provider in your area. If you cannot find a provider in your area, please contact us on 090 6482744 or email [email protected].

How do I get Meals on Wheels?

While most organisations use a self-referral system or can be referred by a family member or neighbour, some organisations have a referral system. The person must be referred to the service by a Public Health Nurse or other community healthcare worker. In this case, if you are concerned about the welfare of a loved one, or you feel you no longer can cook a nutritional meal, you can contact your local primary care centre who can put you in touch with the local Public Health Nurse for your area. You can find your Primary Care Centre and all Health Services on https://www.hse.ie/eng/services/maps/ 

How do I qualify for meals on wheels?

For many providers, there are no criteria for Meals on Wheels. Also, where there is a referral system in place – there are no further criteria. Meals on Wheels is not means-tested.

How much does a meal cost?

The cost of a meal ranges between €4 and €6 depending on the provider and what you get in a meal.

What is included in a meal?

Most providers deliver two courses, i.e. a main dinner and either a soup or dessert or sometimes both. Generally, dinner consists of potatoes, two vegetables and meat/chicken/bacon or fish. A gravy or white sauce is also included which can be requested on the side if preferred.

Most providers deliver two courses, i.e. a main dinner and either a soup or dessert or sometimes both. Generally, dinner consists of potatoes, two vegetables and meat/chicken/bacon or fish. A gravy or white sauce is also included which can be requested on the side if preferred.  

Meals on Wheels providers will always cater for vegetarians, vegans and all dietary requirements. You will be asked at the outset if you have any special requirements.

Is the meal delivered hot or cold?

The meal varies between providers. Some larger providers cook meals to chill and are delivered cold.  They can be heated in a microwave in the container they are provided in. Some providers will deliver two or three dinners in one delivery with a shelf-life in the fridge for three days.  

Meals delivered hot should be eaten within 90 minutes of delivery, or the meal can be reheated in the microwave. If delivered in foil containers, make sure to transfer to a plate before reheating.

How often will I get a meal?

You will need to check with your local provider. Some providers deliver meals seven days a week, and others may deliver three days a week but will deliver extra meals for days they do not deliver. Other providers might only supply meals during the week and not at the weekend. The provider will tell you the days and times that they will provide the meal. 

What if I do not need a meal on a particular day?

You can let the provider know what days you wish to get a meal. If you are away for a day or longer and do not need a meal, you can contact them the previous day or early that morning to let them know you will not be home or do not need a dinner that day. If you forget to cancel and are not home or there is no response when the person delivering the meal arrives at your home, they will contact you by telephone or a family member to make sure everything is ok.

What if I am not at home when the meal arrives but still need the meal?

If you know, you will not be at home when your meal will be delivered but still need the meal you can contact the provider and arrange an alternative time when you will be home.

Who will deliver my meal?

Meals are delivered by volunteers and/or staff members with the local Meals on Wheels provider. All staff and volunteers are Garda vetted.

Does the person delivering the meal need to come into my house with the meal?

The meal will be delivered to your door, the person will either knock on your door/ring your doorbell to make sure you are there.  Part of Meals on Wheels is to check in on the person receiving the meal and make sure they are ok. Due to Covid-19, many recipients of meals leave a container or box outside their door for the dinner to be placed in, but the person delivering the meal will call or knock on door/window to make sure you know the meal is there and check if you need anything further. If you are immobile or have difficulty walking, an arrangement can be put in place for the driver to bring the meal into the house.

Can I cancel my meals on wheels?

You can cancel your Meals on Wheels at any time. You can also suspend delivery of meals for some time if you are away for a few days visiting or on holidays or if you need to spend time in hospital. You can then contact the local provider when you wish to avail of the service again.

Is the packaging recyclable?

You will need to check this with your local provider. While most of the food trays the meal arrives in are recyclable, some providers still use foil trays that are not recyclable.  Also, if there is a film covering the meal, this is not currently recyclable.

FAQ’s for Meals on Wheels Providers

How do I become a member of the Meals on Wheels Network?

You can complete the membership form online here

Is there a membership fee?

Yes.  The membership fee is for one year, and membership must be renewed annually.  A list of the fees charged depending on the size of your organisation is available here

What do I get as a member?

A list of the benefits of being a member of the Meals on Wheels Network is available here.

How can I discuss ideas/share knowledge and information with other Meals on Wheels Providers?

If you want to contact other meals on wheels providers, all contact details are available on the interactive map.  If you wish to share anything you can email [email protected] and ask for it to be posted on the website and/or Facebook page.  If you do not wish for it the information to be placed on the website, we will email the information out to all members.