Meals on Wheels in dire need of drivers

Rotary Meals on Wheels is in desperate need of volunteer drivers to deliver noontime meals to the ill, disabled and elderly in the eastern districts.

Two hours per week is all that is required, from 11am to noon, Monday through Friday.

This will assist 44 people in central Bodden Town, nine in Breakers and 48 residents in East End receive a hot nutritious meal each day.

“Just a couple of hours out of your week will make a huge difference in the lives of our seniors,’ said Beulah McField, head of the non-profit food programme.

‘Not only does the programme assist in monitoring health and well being, but clients also look forward to the interaction and friendship talk with drivers, which sometimes is their only source of contact for the day,’ she said.

Meals are ready from 11am and can be picked up at specific locations in each district.

Hope Foster prepares meals in Bodden Town, the Lighthouse Restaurant in Breakers and Janice Welcome and Pamela Dixon prepare meals at the East End Civic Centre. Each district has its own menu, which is prepared to nutritional value. ‘This is because some clients cannot have certain foods based on their required diet,’ said Ms McField.

‘We desperately need the community’s help. It is hard for persons assisting with preparation of meals to have to deliver them as well, which has been the case for quite some time,’ said Ms McField.

The agency delivers noontime meals Monday through Friday to approximately 168 clients in three districts East End, Bodden Town and George Town. Eighty people are on a waiting list for meals in the West Bay area but so far the agency has not been able to meet that need.

However, the New Testament Church in West Bay has picked up the cause and is assisting by cooking meals and delivering them.

Meals are provided for families on a temporary basis, if they have fallen down on their luck and the Social Services Department has stepped in.

According to Ms McField, the agency is looking at enlarging the George Town kitchen in the McField Centre. This venue would be used to prepare all the meals, which would give them a better opportunity to incorporate the West Bay area.

For more information on becoming a volunteer driver, contact the Meals on Wheels office at 949-3905, 916-5967 or by e-mail at [email protected]

History

The Meals on Wheels programme provides nutritionally balanced meals to homebound, frail, aged people and those with physical and mental disabilities.

The agency has been delivering food to the ill, less fortunate and elderly for more than 12 years. It operates under the philosophy to improve the quality of life for the frail of health and senior members of the community.

The programme began with Beulah McField and her mom Martha McField cooking out of her home for 14 elderly persons in the district of George Town.

That number soon grew and the First Baptist Church and Grand Old House began assisting with the cooking of the meals two days a week.

The Rotary Club of Grand Cayman became involved and took over administration of the programme in 1997.

CUC and Royal Bank of Canada are the longest corporate supporters. They have allowed their staffs to volunteer delivering meals since 2000.

Also that year, a separate corporation was formed in with Rotarians filling many of the board positions.

Government also supports the programme with a grant.

Many in the community have also given money to help.

The Meals on Wheels goals is to actively educate clients and reduce the high risk of malnutrition in older people.

Meals are delivered to the following points:

60 meals five days per week go to George Town (there is a requirement of at least 80 meals per day)

40 meals five days per week go to Bodden Town

50 meals three days per week are distributed in East End. The agency is hoping to expand this programme to five days per week

No meals are delivered in North Side but the agency estimates there are 20 people identified in this area who need the meals.

It is estimated that there are 300 meals per week required. The agency’s food cost per meal is approximately $4.

For the programme to feed all of the deserving people the agency estimates that it will need approximately $312,000 in addition to Government funding.

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