Meals on Wheels rising to the COVID-19 challenge
Cayman Cabana owner Luigi Moxam felt the need to assist with the efforts of Meals on Wheels by providing a special Saturday meal for seniors. Volunteers collected traditional fish tea and fresh Brac Bread for delivery to seniors.
Meals on Wheels has been serving more than 400 hot, nutritious meals and 300 hot soups per day to seniors, the disabled, infirm and housebound since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
And aside from regular clients, MOW is also delivering to children and other family members who are at home and in need of a hot meal due to the coronavirus, MOW General Manager, Jennifer West revealed.
West explained: “With so many people without enough income to support their families food security, we have increased our services to include a wide range of persons who have been deemed vulnerable or at risk of going hungry.”
This current daily delivery total marks a huge leap from the 235 meals that were being served before government measures to save lives were put into place.
All meals are delivered to homes by volunteers from one of the district or community kitchens across the islands each week day and due to health concerns and medical conditions, the meals are prepared according to each client's dietary needs, allergy requirements or conditions.
When meals are delivered, it's not just about the food but it's also the social interaction, as many seniors live alone and the volunteers have been their social connection for years on end.
Ms West said: "Due to social distancing standards being kept, we have had to change how we go about connecting with our seniors and having conversation.
"In our efforts to keep our seniors safe and at home, volunteers began delivering weekend groceries to our seniors to assist with supplementing their daily hot meal since the beginning of lockdown. It has become a challenge to source enough items since so much was not readily available, and we had to cancel our drop-off once shelter-in-place regulations came into effect."
As a part of their contingency plan, Meals on Wheels launched a "Call-A-Senior" programme which is being used to maintain social interaction, provide a means of communication and conduct wellness checks throughout this period. This programme has been adopted by the staff of Stepping Stones Recruitment, KMPG, Conyers, Cayman Islands Institute of Professional Accountants and the Directors of the Board of Meals on Wheels.
Seniors have been able to stay up to date, request items or services needed, and connect with new friends.
But Rob Imparato, MOW Board Chairman, is pleased to announce that a Community Can Drive is now again underway. He revealed: “Thanks to the kind support of Buy$mart, we now have an easy access point where members of the community can drop off non perishable items in the shopping carts marked “Community Food Drive.”
Carts are just inside the main doors and donations can be dropped off Monday and Saturday 8am to 6pm, so no waiting in line is required.
Meals on Wheels receives a small monthly government grant, but also depend heavily on community support for funds and donations to allow them to provide meals and groceries free of cost to seniors who otherwise would not have a single hot meal every day.
Persons or companies wishing to make a monetary donation can do so via direct deposit at Bank of Butterfield to Cayman Islands Meals On Wheels account.
You can go to www.pledgeasenior.com or Bank of Butterfield - Cayman Islands Meals on Wheels account #136-160-977-0021.
More information can be found on www.mealsonwheels.ky, or you can email Info@mealsonwheels.ky, or call 345-546-8886 or 345-769-1974