Meals on Wheels has been serving the needs of the community since 1997, by delivering a hot meal with a soup to seniors, disabled, inferm and homebound. During the current pandemic, MOW General Manager, Jennifer West stated that “We have reached an incredible number of clients, and we have now been serving over 400 hot, nutritious meals and 300 hot soups, per day!!” This is a huge leap from the 235 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 our district or community kitchens across the islands each week day.
Due to health concerns and medical conditions, the meals are prepared according to each client's dietary needs, allergy requirements or conditions. During this pandemic our meals have continued to be delivered to our seniors across the island, however due to children and family members being at home, in many cases where jobs have been lost, we also cater to those who are in need of a hot meal. West explains that “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.”
When meals are delivered, it's not just about a hot meal but it's also the social interaction, many seniors live alone and the volunteers have been their social connection for years on end. Due to social distancing standards being kept we have had to change how we go about connecting with our seniors and having conversation. As a part of their contingency plan that quickly had to be implemented, 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.
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. Rob Imparato, MOW Board Chairman is pleased to announce that a Community Can Drive is now again underway. He mentioned that “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, from 8am to 6pm, no waiting in line is required!
Meals on Wheels receives a small monthly government grant which depend heavily on community support for funds and donations to allow us to provide meals and groceries free of cost to our 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.
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