A MEALS-ON-WHEELS initiative has marked two years of delivering high quality, affordable food to elderly Wee County residents.

The Meals at The Gate service, run by community chef Michael Greer, has been going from strength to strength, enjoying an eight per cent growth in food delivered during the past 12 months.

The service launched in 2021 to offer freshly prepared food to people over the age of 65 in the area with some 23,000 meals delivered in the first year.

Michael and Jilly Guild, chief officer at The Gate, took the idea from whiteboard to chopping board in just a short two weeks.

Despite the cost of living crisis taking a toll on everyone, the service has maintained its prices, offering three courses for £5 per person.

Meals are delivered to the door and are microwaveable, offering something nutritious at a reasonable price for those who are unable to cook for themselves for one reason or another.

“We get a mix of customers," Michael said. "We get people who are mid to late 60s – they are perfectly able-bodied, but some of them might have had an operation or an illness and it's hard for them to take care of themselves.

“We have some older clients in their 80s and above, who are just not able, or what we get is their children who are not comfortable with their mum or their dad cooking for themselves any more so they ring us.”

With a choice of two mains, two soups and two desserts each day, the chef looks to give options to people while sticking to simple, comfortable and familiar meals for people.

Michael continued: “I worked for years in restaurants, and I worked in some quite fancy ones, but you can't cook in this job with your ego, you've got to think: 'I'm cooking for my grandmother'.

“They like it nice and simple: cottage pies; haggis, neeps and tatties; casseroles; and soups – they like a nice thick soup.”

People looking to sign up for the service, either for daily meals or for the odd treat, can email meals@the-gate-charity.org or call 01259 218766 for more information, corporate catering is also on offer with proceeds going right back into The Gate.

Meanwhile, The Gate is also hosting a monthly lunch club – open to everyone of all ages – with either a soup and sandwich or a hot meal, drinks and biscuits.

There is also entertainment with a chance to socialise.

The next club launch will go ahead on Wednesday, March 15, from 12.30pm until 2pm. Those wishing to book can call 01259 218766.