We are proud to announce that London Independent Living Service (LILS) has just been recognised as the winner of the ‘Good Food for All’ award in the Urban Food Awards 2020. We would like to thank all of our LILS and HILS team members for their dedication and hard work, not only during the COVID-19 crisis, but every day for the last three years.
LILS was set up as a subsidiary of Hertfordshire Independent Living Service (HILS) in 2017 to provide older and vulnerable London residents with hot meals and good nutrition to support their independence and wellbeing. Over the past three years LILS has had a positive impact for 500 older and vulnerable Camden and Haringey residents. Over 40 staff have been employed by the service, and 80,000 tasty, hot, and nutritious meals and desserts have been delivered alongside caring welfare checks.
A report published earlier this year by Sustain’s London Food Poverty Campaign, ‘Meals on wheels for the 21st century’, explores meals services in London before, during and after Covid-19. The report features LILS as a case study demonstrating a preventative and sustainable solution to food poverty and insecurity in London, and includes recommendations for immediate action, as well as medium-term and longer-term policy recommendations.
Despite these successes, it is with a heavy heart that we must announce that LILS will close on 1st October 2020. As a new social business trying to become financially sustainable, LILS operated at a financial loss for these three years. The daily meal price did not cover the full cost of meals, staff, and delivery and there was a significant funding gap. This funding gap has been covered by a variety of sources, including investment from HILS, and through the support of partners. However, in the current climate, this has become increasingly challenging, and LILS has been unable to secure long-term investment or contracts to enable the service to continue.
LILS leaves behind a lasting legacy, and here at HILS we will continue campaigning for meals on wheels at a national level. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our amazing team, partners, and clients in London for being a part of LILS’ journey.