Kia Picanto chosen for meals on wheels service
27 May 2021
Author: Simon Harris
Hertfordshire Independent Living Service (HILS) has taken delivery of the first few Kia Picantos of a new 75-strong fleet, fulfilled by business specialist dealership Ken Brown Kia Stevenage.
As the UK's largest not-for-profit meals on wheels provider, HILS will use the cars to deliver more than half a million meals this year - more than 1,500 meals a day - to support older and vulnerable people across Hertfordshire.
Operating across the county, the social enterprise was established in 2007 to deliver hot meals from one site with two vehicles. But 14 years later, HILS now operates from four sites (St Albans, Ware, Letchworth and Hemel Hempstead) with a fleet of almost 80 vehicles.
In its early days, the social enterprise once operated a small fleet of 'oven vans' that were used to deliver freshly cooked food, but quickly transitioned to the more efficient delivery of ready-cooked food using a range of different city cars, but more recently the Kia Picanto.
Phil Martin, director of resources at HILS, commented: "The Kia Picanto has really impressed us and despite having previously having a fleet of city cars, the Picanto itself far exceeds other vehicles we have relied, on and suits our needs despite the large volumes of food we deliver on a daily basis.
"As important as the car's features themselves, our decision to choose the Picanto was also based on the excellent business-focused service we received from the staff at Ken Brown Stevenage, which made the entire process straightforward and a pleasure."
John Hargreaves, head of fleet and remarketing at Kia UK added: "HILS' unique and unusual type of usage is proof that the Picanto delivers far more than its city car appearance may imply. We're delighted HILS has chosen the Picanto to help deliver its excellent and essential services throughout Hertfordshire to those needing a helping hand."
HILS aims to support older and vulnerable people to remain happy, healthy and independent at home for as long as possible.
In addition to meals-on-wheels, HILS provides a variety of services to help keep its members as independent as possible, for as long as possible. These include free specialist in-home exercise provision, free nutrition and dietetics support, nutrition training for care home staff, dementia fun clubs, advocacy, keysafe installations and a range of add-on support services delivered alongside meals.