While awaiting repatriation flights and 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 one of their 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 happen to be a banquet chef, and misses his busy days in the kitchen.
Bala along with fellow colleagues Stewert Lawrence and Raja Thangaraj have been cooking up a storm of 220 soups and meals per day as well as making fresh rolls and banana bread for seniors to enjoy. The trio have volunteered their time and stated "It is so important for us to help the community, and it was wonderful for us to be back in the kitchen."
Meals on Wheels is currently providing over 1,000 hot soups and lunch meals each day to the most vulnerable members of our community, seniors, inferm, disabled and homebound. West mentions" We continue to receive and accept referrals each day. Over the past few weeks they have seen a great increase in demand for food support for the people they serve and the reality is that even when restrictions are lifted, they will continue to deliver to as many of their clients who were receiving help from friends, family and neighbours.
To learn more about the work of Meals on Wheels please visit www.mealsonwheels.ky or to make a donation visit www.pledgeasenior.com or direct deposit can be made at Bank of Butterfield to Cayman Islands Meals on Wheels, KYD account #136 1609 770 021.