Meals on Wheels needs sponsors

The Rotary Club of Grand Cayman is branching out with a new initiative to fund its Meals on Wheels programme and open it up to corporate sponsorship.

Meals on Wheels is a non-profit volunteer programme that delivers meals to senior citizens who are unable to leave their homes.

Incoming Rotary President Joseph Hew is responsible for the new fundraising programme called Team Up and Tip Up. This venture enlists the help of local restaurants, where patrons can round up their bill to the nearest dollar and donate that change, or any other amount, to Meals on Wheels.

Participating restaurants are Coconut Joes, Castaways, Edoardo’s, Café Med and Ragazzi Ristorante Pizzeria.

Corporate sponsorship for Meals on Wheels was suspended after Hurricane Ivan, but plans are under way to launch another in the upcoming weeks, said Mr. Hew.

Meals on Wheels delivers more than 400 meals per week at a cost of CI$60,000 per annum. Bank Austria has been the single largest sponsor for the past five years and Esso has recently followed suit.

Since its inception in 1997, Meals on Wheels has expanded to every district except North Side. In George Town alone 67 meals over six routes are delivered on a daily basis, and there is a waiting list.

‘We need an expansion on our kitchen,’ said Beulah McField, executive board member for Meals on Wheels.

Meals for George Town are made and packaged at the T.E McField Centre, but the other districts prepare meals at their separate community centres.

‘Our goal is to expand the kitchen facilities in George Town, to cook all the food and send it out to be packaged at the separate community centres,’ said Ms McField.

Jim O’Neil, managing director of Bank Austria and a Rotarian, has been responsible for Bank Austria’s involvement with the programme for the past five years.

‘It is a fantastic programme,’ said Mr. O’Neil. ‘Over 25,000 meals were delivered last year.’

Rotarians, along with employees from Bank Austria, CUC, Royal Bank of Canada, Fosters Food Fair, Cable and Wireless and Victory Tabernacle all volunteer their time to deliver meals to shut in senior citizens.

‘It is one of the most worthwhile services anyone could get involved with,’ said Ms McField. ‘It is an excellent opportunity for people to understand the level of need in the Cayman community.’

Companies interested in sponsorship, or restaurants interested in participating in the Team Up and Tip Up programme please contact Joseph Hew at 949-0055 or 916-4394.