Butterfield Bank is donating $15,000 each to the Kiwanis Club of Grand Cayman and Meals on Wheels as they continue to provide meals for children, the elderly and vulnerable people in the community during the COVID-19 crisis.

The combined donation of $30,000 will assist the Kiwanis Club with its Homeschool Lunch Programme and Meals on Wheels with its Pledge to Feed a Senior Programme.

Both organisations have seen a growing need for the programmes since the government has implemented shelter-in-place and lockdown measures to limit the spread of COVID-19. Although the policy is necessary and prudent, Butterfield said in a press release, it resulted in strained finances for some households and caused other community programmes to be suspended.

Meals on Wheels provides more than 300 hot meals and soups per day, five days a week, to people in need. The meals are delivered directly to each individual’s home across all five districts of Grand Cayman.

Jennifer West, general manager of Meals on Wheels, said the bank’s support will not only help the organisation feed seniors but also anyone else in the community who is currently in need.

“We have seen quite a spike in request for meals given the current circumstances,” she said. “The meals we give are not only providing essential nutrients but they are helping to bring hope, comfort and strength. I would like to express our gratitude for this outstanding donation from Butterfield especially during these uncertain times.”

The Homeschool Lunch Programme is a partnership with Kiwanis Club of Grand Cayman, the Department of Education and Feed Our Future. This programme provides 400 hot meals to students throughout the 13 government schools, both primary and secondary, and across two islands. Students assisted by this programme receive one hot meal per day from their school’s canteen. The meal is delivered directly to the student’s home while observing social distancing.

“We’re living in unprecedented times right now, with disruptions to our lives and families,” said Kadi Pentney of Kiwanis Club of Grand Cayman. “The power of community is now more important than ever, and we are incredibly grateful to Butterfield for their generous support of the Homeschool Lunch Programme. Butterfield’s support will provide direct relief to the Cayman’s vulnerable youth during this difficult time.”

Michael McWatt, Butterfield managing director in Cayman. said working with the two organisations was crucial, especially during the health crisis. “Both organisations provide services to those that are unable to assist themselves. As the community has supported Butterfield for over 50 years, we have to ensure that we continue to support the community, especially those in need,” he said.

McWatt noted that Butterfield also acted within its business to alleviate the financial burden that customers are facing.

“We have recently lowered interest rates on personal loans, mortgages and commercial loans; we have also introduced an automatic payment deferral programme on residential mortgages, personal loans and credit cards. This was introduced to assist customers who may be facing lower incomes or cash inflow at this time,” he said.

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