News / Older People’s Food Campaign

Call to government: Take urgent action to tackle malnutrition in older people

A group of over 120 prominent figures from academia, local government and community organisations working in health, ageing and food have writtten to government ministers outlining the increased risk of malnutrition and isolation facing over 65s during and after Covid-19. The letter calls on the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and ministers in devolved administrations to work together to solve this problem.

Photo credit: Pixabay

Photo credit: Pixabay

The letter points out that even before Covid-19, one in 10 people over the age of 65 were malnourished, with Covid-19 exacerbating this problem. Food insecurity broadly has risen due to Covid-19, and many over 65s have been less able to access food in ways they normally would due to shielding or self-isolating. Furthermore, although the peak of the virus is over, the repercussions for many remain in place, especially older people who remain at increased risk from the virus and who are still unable to access many now-remote services.

Together with the potential of a ‘second spike’, it is paramount that government take urgent action to ensure older people have access to good food and health in their own homes. Such action would decrease risk of infection amongst this group and build greater resilience in the face of potential infection.

The letter, sent 30 June 2020, goes on to set out specific action government should take to meet this need and protect its older citizens. These actions include ringfenced additional funding for local authorities, investing in long-term sustainable solutions in the community including meals on wheels services, and introducing the Right to Food in law.

By investing in health, communities and older people, government would be delivering on its stated wish to ‘prioritise the prevention of ill health and to create a more resilient and dynamic UK economy.’

Find out about Sustain’s work on meals on wheels.

Published 2 Jul 2020

Older People’s Food Campaign: Meals on wheels services support thousands of older people every day to stay independent in their own homes and enrich their lives.

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