Man grateful for Meals on Wheels but says food is 'horrendous' like from hawker centre

Submitted by Stomper Sarah

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Heard of Meals on Wheels?

It provides meal deliveries to the homebound who are unable to buy or prepare their own meals and do not have a caregiver to help them to do so.

For those who are eligible, the service will cost approximately between $4.90 and $7 per meal before subsidies, which are available depending on the means test results.

Managed by the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC), Meals on Wheels has benefited people like Facebook user Hoong Hoong.

"I'm one of the beneficiaries of Meals on Wheels and the various AIC schemes for low and no income groups. This has helped me tremendously and I'm very grateful," said Hoong Hoong in a post in the Complaint Singapore Facebook group on April 7.

"But I feel that Meals On Wheels is being abused by the contractors probably because there aren't enough checks done. The food is simply horrendous and tasteless. The cliche 'What do you expect from a central kitchen' is brought up again and again."

But after analysing the food, Hoong Hoong believes the food is not from a central kitchen but from a hawker centre.

"The lunch is noodles which are boiled with some tasteless black sauce to cover it. Some processed foods like fish cake, ngo hiang are added to complete. These processed foods are the opposite of tasteless. They are salty to the extreme," complained Hoong Hoong.

"I've taken some pictures and they all look to come from the economical bee hoon stall we patronise in the morning for breakfast."

He concluded: "Sad to say the food served by Meals On Wheels is just hawker centre food without any supervision."

In response to a Stomp query, a spokesperson for AIC said: "We have checked with the service provider that provides Hoong Hoong with Meals on Wheels services and our colleagues have taken Hoong Hoong's feedback to review with the caterer.

"I understand from their visit to Hoong Hoong that he has also opted to stay on with the programme."

Another spokesman added: "The Meals On Wheels service provider shared with us that meals containing processed food items are usually served with noodles twice weekly, mimicking hawker fare meals.

"The intention is to add variety to the usual rice and dishes meals served to their clients.

"The service provider has also informed us that they are working with the caterer to review their menu, so that the noodle items could be more substantial in variety and reduce the processed food items with the noodle dishes."