A city organisation which has been preparing and delivering meals to older people in the community for more than 30 years has scooped a prestigious quality award.
Cope Galway Community Catering (Meals on Wheels ) was named the Best Food Services Team in Ireland for hygiene and food safety at this year’s National Q Mark Awards.
It shared the top honour in this category with the Aramark catering team from Dublin.
Hailed as “The pioneers of business excellence” and “The innovators that will take Ireland to greater heights of quality and cxcellence”, the Galway catering service employs 12 people. It has about 100 volunteers on its books and delivered more than 45,000 meals last year.
The Q Mark awards are associated with quality and excellence and are the only system which allows businesses to monitor their processes and procedures all the time.
Winning this award has shown that Community Catering “truly cares” about its customers and is willing to “go the extra mile” to ensure they achieve the highest standards at all times, according to COPE.
Geraldine Ryan, the executive chef at COPE Galway Community Catering, says winning the Q Mark has helped the organisation achieve the highest standards of quality and excellence.
“Winning the award is testament to the organisation’s ongoing commitment to revolutionising the traditional Meals on Wheels industry and promoting the service nationwide as a key part of the home care package for older people living independently.”
Irene Collins, the managing director of the national Q Mark awards, said the joint winners of the award are committed to top hygiene and food safety standards.
“Cope Galway Community Catering and Aramark at Helsinn Birex clearly understand that winning the title of Best Food Services Team in Ireland for Hygiene and Food Safety, which is one of The Q Mark’s most competitive categories, shows their customers that they are food services that excel at what they do.
“These teams are totally committed to the high standards of hygiene and food safety. They are the driving force behind continuous improvement and we are delighted with both team’s successes in this year’s awards.”
The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton who attended this year’s national Q Mark awards, said the Government is committed to supporting Irish industry.
“At the heart of our jobs plan is supporting Irish businesses providing products and services to the highest global standards and creating good, sustainable employment. It is great to see tonight so many Irish businesses from all parts of the country making high standards a key part of their offering to customers. These are the innovative Irish businesses that will power the engine of our recovery, and I wish them every success in the future”.
Cope Galway Community Catering is part of a larger voluntary organisation which has been providing services for people who are homeless and experiencing domestic violence since 1979. Its catering division has been providing “Meals on Wheels” to the elderly for more than 30 years.
“Cope Galway offers an essential service to the local community by allowing elderly people to maintain their dignity and independence while at the same time ensuring that they receive the nutritional and social support that they require,” says a spokesperson for the organisation.
“The service employs a dedicated team of 12 alongside over 100 volunteers and delivered in excess of 45,000 meals in 2013. Known as the Oscars of business excellence, the Q Mark award is the highest accolade an Irish business can achieve. Cope Galway Community Catering can now relax in the knowledge that they are officially the joint best Food Service Team in Ireland for hygiene and food safety.”