Some like it hot, while others like it frozen!

FRESH or frozen?

Meals on Wheels services on the Coffs Coast are divided about which is best for clients who rely on mobile community catering services.

In May 2008, Coffs Harbour Meals on Wheels, which had been sourcing its meals from Sawtell Meals on Wheels, moved to sourcing frozen meals cooked by the Flagstaff commercial catering company, based in Wollongong.

Bellingen Meals on Wheels also makes use of frozen food.

Woolgoolga and Sawtell Meals on Wheels both operate commercial kitchens and provide locally-cooked hot meals.

The manager of Coffs Harbour meals on Wheels, Bronwyn Webber, said the frozen meals offered a wider menu choice on a daily basis and meant clients, who are provided with a microwave if they need one, can heat up their meal when they want it. Some 120 volunteers deliver about 85 meals a day.

She said for some clients in their 90s who would not use a microwave, they still provided hot meals and they had received nothing but praise for the new menu.

She said Sawtell had also put up the price for the meals they supplied to Coffs Harbour to $5.50 while the Flagstaff meals cost $4.

Coffs Harbour clients pay $6.50 for a full meal package which includes a main meal, sweet, soup and juice.

She said Coffs Harbour still did their own sweets, soups, fruit and juices and from early January they would also be preparing salads one day each week.

Ms Webber said a lot of services were moving to frozen meals, because from a food safety point of view it avoided having to constantly monitor and document the temperatures of ingredients and meals and Flagstaff was accredited under the HACCP Food Standard Code.

Sawtell Meals on Wheels manager Leanne Russell said they had 95 clients and cooked hot meals every weekday for the people in their area offering them a daily choice of a hot meal or a salad, with an eight-week menu which includes a Wednesday roast each week.

Which do you prefer - fresh or frozen?

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