Fewer elderly using Meals on Wheels service

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The number of elderly and vulnerable people having a meal delivered to their home has dropped dramatically with a 76% decrease in one health trust area.

The overall figure using the service has fallen by 36% to just over 4,000.

Stormont's Health Committee said it wanted to know why fewer people were using the service.

Despite health trusts being told by the Department of Health they must charge £1.50 per meal, it has emerged that cost varies from one area to another.

The chief executive of Age NI, Anne O'Reilly, said meals should be provided on the basis of need, not on the ability to pay.

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