At present, with the deepening of the aging of the population and the change of family structure, the number of elderly people such as the elderly, disabled, empty nest, and left-behind continues to grow, and meal assistance services have become a common practical need and ardent expectation of the elderly.

In recent years, all localities have adhered to the demand orientation, introduced relevant policies and measures in combination with the actual situation, and explored the meal assistance service model according to local conditions, which has alleviated the problem of inconvenience for the elderly to a certain extent, and also laid the foundation for the formulation and introduction of national-level policies. At the same time, there is still a gap between the elderly meal service and the needs and expectations of the masses in terms of coverage, supply quality, convenience and accessibility, and sustainable development ability, and it is urgent to further improve policies and measures to achieve greater results.

Recently, with the consent of the State Council, the Ministry of Civil Affairs and other 11 departments jointly issued the "Action Plan for Actively Developing Meal Assistance Services for the Elderly" (hereinafter referred to as the "Action Plan"), proposing 6 measures from 18 aspects.

Recently, at the regular briefing on the policy of the State Council held by the Information Office of the State Council, Tang Chengpei, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Civil Affairs, said that the "Action Plan" regards the development of meal assistance services for the elderly as an important part of doing practical things for the people, and guides all localities to closely combine with reality, actively and prudently, and promote the implementation according to local conditions. Sustainable development.

Strengthen quality and safety supervision

The Action Plan focuses on solving the practical difficulties of meal assistance services for the elderly, clarifies corresponding policies and measures, and requires efforts to enhance the accessibility, inclusiveness, safety, reliability and sustainability of meal assistance services for the elderly, and strives to be targeted, operable and effective.

Tang Chengpei pointed out that in terms of focusing on enhancing the safety and reliability of meal assistance services for the elderly, the "Action Plan" requires all localities to formulate meal assistance service specifications for the elderly in combination with actual conditions, ensure the nutritional health and continuous and stable supply of meals, improve intelligent and convenient service means, and cultivate high-quality service brands; At the same time, it is necessary to strengthen quality and safety supervision, implement the food safety responsibility system, strengthen joint spot checks and inspections of departments, consolidate the responsibility of business entities, do a good job in food safety and production safety of service places, strengthen personal safety and fire safety management in services, and prevent all kinds of safety risks, so that the elderly can eat well and eat at ease.

Zhu Guangyao, head of the Department of Trade in Services and Commercial Services of the Ministry of Commerce, said that as the competent department of the catering industry, the Ministry of Commerce has actively participated in the work of meal assistance for the elderly and is the main participating department in the Action Plan. In the next step, the Ministry of Commerce will focus on promoting the high-quality development of the catering industry, giving full play to the role of catering operators, and encouraging catering enterprises to fulfill their social responsibilities to promote the development of meal assistance services for the elderly.

"The Ministry of Commerce is promoting the issuance of guidance on promoting the high-quality development of the catering industry, which will accelerate the high-quality development of the catering industry from the aspects of improving service quality, innovating consumption scenarios, cultivating development momentum, promoting catering culture, and promoting green and safe development. Zhu Guangyao said.

Zhu Guangyao said that the Ministry of Commerce will work with relevant departments to encourage the renovation of old communities and the construction of a convenient living circle within a quarter of an hour, make full use of community space resources, support the establishment of breakfast spots, canteens for the elderly and other community catering outlets, and provide high-quality, low-cost and trustworthy meal assistance services for the majority of elderly friends.

Establish a diversified financing mechanism

The "Action Plan" proposes to establish a diversified financing mechanism of "individuals give a little, enterprises let a little, the government makes up a little, the collective adds a little, and the society donates a little" to support the elderly meal service institutions to provide stable and sustainable services.

Song Qichao, director of the Social Security Department of the Ministry of Finance, said that the "Action Plan" clearly stated that the development of meal assistance for the elderly should adhere to the "government supplement", and the financial department will support the development of meal assistance services for the elderly from three aspects:

Actively raise funds to help the elderly meal service. Local financial departments at all levels should take into account factors such as the progress of the work and the financial situation, and actively raise funds to support meal assistance services for the elderly. The central government will arrange a certain amount of guidance funds and provide appropriate subsidies to local governments. At the same time, all localities should give full play to the role of the market mechanism, insist on doing their best and doing what they can, and ensure that the meal service is sustainable and financially affordable.

Refine the subsidy policy and classify the subsidy accurately. Local financial departments at all levels shall, in accordance with the requirements of the Action Plan, formulate subsidy policies that are in line with the actual local situation and the characteristics of the meal assistance model, and refine the subsidy methods and subsidy standards for different meal assistance institutions and different meal assistance objects to ensure that the subsidy policies are accurate and effective. For meal assistance institutions, factors such as the number and quality of meal assistance services, and the satisfaction of the elderly can be comprehensively considered, and a certain operating subsidy or comprehensive incentive subsidy can be given. For the elderly who need to help with meals, differentiated subsidies can be given according to different circumstances such as disability level and economic hardship.

Strengthen the supervision of funds and improve the efficiency of the use of funds. Local financial departments at all levels should strictly enforce the relevant regulations on budget management and centralized payment by the state treasury, and earnestly strengthen supervision and management over the distribution, disbursement, and use of subsidy funds. At the same time, it is necessary to regularly carry out performance evaluation of the management and use of subsidy funds, establish a mechanism for linking the evaluation results with the allocation of funds, and optimize and improve the financial subsidy policy in a timely manner, so as to truly spend every penny on the cutting edge and spend benefits.

Focus on weaknesses and implement precise policies

"The name of the document is "Action Plan for the Active Development of Meal Assistance Services for the Elderly", and the key words are 'positive' and 'action', which means that the focus should be on implementation and hard work." Yu Jianliang, director of the Department of Pension Services of the Ministry of Civil Affairs, said.

Yu Jianliang said that in the next step, we will focus on guiding local governments to do a good job in implementation from four aspects: steady and orderly progress according to local conditions, focusing on shortcomings and weaknesses, precise policy, flexible and diverse innovative service methods, and multi-party linkage to form a joint work force.

In terms of focusing on shortcomings and weaknesses, in view of the weak overall work foundation in rural areas and the difficulty in forming a market-oriented scale of meal assistance services, inclined measures should be taken in combination with the actual situation to support the expansion of service supply in rural areas, and encourage flexible and diverse solutions to the needs of rural elderly meal assistance services.

Yu Jianliang pointed out that in view of the difficulties in the sustainable development of meal assistance services that are generally reflected in various places, guide all localities to focus on the following aspects: guide the full investigation and mapping of the demand for meal assistance services for the elderly, find out the real meal assistance needs, dining methods and price affordability of the local elderly, master the existing supply channels, available resources and effective models, promote the reasonable layout of services, and promote the accurate docking of supply and demand. What services are provided to the elderly; According to the local economic development level and financial situation, focus on the elderly groups with special difficulties, implement classified subsidies, do not engage in a standard, do not engage in mutual comparison, and do not advocate "free meals", focusing on the word "help" to work hard and make a fuss; Adhere to the combination of government support and give full play to the role of market mechanisms, support and promote business entities to reduce costs, improve quality, and build brands, so as to achieve sustainable development of capital and small profits. (Rule of Law Daily reporter Pu Xiaolei)