Thursday 26 November, 2020

Indian nationals support Meals On Wheels while awaiting repatriation

While many people have been awaiting repatriation flights while enduring the hardship of being on the island without work, a small group of Indian nationals have spent their time doing what they do best, cooking and baking!

Balakumar Ramaraj has been volunteering with Meals On Wheels for 2 years as a delivery driver and during the pandemic he became on of the organization's essential volunteers, delivering hot meals up to 5 days a week to seniors and shut-ins. As the weeks went on, Bala found himself in the same position as many others in the hotel industry as hotel doors closed. As increased demands for food continued Bala asked, “What else can I do to help?"

Meals on Wheels General Manager, Jennifer West along with Nerrie Campbell, Programme Coordinator have been coordinating efforts with over 12 community kitchens and restaurants; however, as the restrictions lifted and meal availability declined, they quickly realised that the best way to sustain demands on a budget was to use the expert skills of their volunteer who happens to be a  banquet chef.

Bala along with fellow colleagues Stewert Lawrence and Raja Thangaraj have been cooking 220 soups and meals per day as well as making fresh rolls and banana bread for seniors to enjoy. 

Meals on Wheels is currently providing over 1,000 hot soups and lunch meals each day to the most vulnerable members of the community: seniors, inferm, disabled and homebound. West explains that the organization continues to receive and accept referrals each day. "Over the past few weeks we have seen great increases in demand for food support for the people we serve and the reality is that even when restrictions are lifted, we will continue to deliver as many of our clients were receiving help from friends, family and neighbours who are just about to begin working again, so will need Meals on Wheels to continue ensuring that seniors receive a free hot meal and a warm friendly visit each day."

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