The history of food delivery services traces its inception over sixty years. Since this time food delivery services still have the same basic principle to ensure that members of the community can have a hot, tasty and enjoyable meal.
The first meal delivery services are believed to have been started in wartime London. As a result of the Blitz, many Londoners had lost their homes and their ability to cook for themselves. In response to this need the WVS (Women's Volunteer Service) produced meals and delivered them to people who had lost practically everything. This caring approach was carried on in various areas of the UK where injured servicemen were provided meals by volunteers in the local vicinity.
After the war the first true food delivery service evolved in Hemel Hempstead in 1947. The recipients were still servicemen who were incapable of cooking their own meals but instead of the vans used to transport meals today, these early services apparently used prams, lined with felt and even straw to ensure that the meal was delivered warm. Understandably this type of service was extremely labour intensive requiring a vast network volunteers, each with good cooking knowledge and skills. Today, the processes involved incorporate mass production principles.
In the UK food delivery services operate in a number of different ways. There are agency led programmes, typically ran in conjunction with local councils to cater for the local population. There are also private services that cater for those people that would like the benefits of food delivery but do not necessarily meet all of the criteria.
In the modern age there are also a number of different ways in which the food is delivered. Some programmes deliver meal that are cooked in a central location and then kept warm as they are delivered. Other programmes cook the food, allow it to cool and then cook the food before delivery in mobile units that both cook and deliver the food. The final type of programme delivers frozen meals that can be heated by the recipient in the microwave or oven.
Today there are a range of different food delivery services out there catering for the elderly, disabled and also those with special dietary requirements. It is this commitment to caring and ensuring people eat well that has been a consistent theme throughout the development of food delivery services.