US$50,000 raised for community response to COVID-19

In this file photograph from March 2019, Meals on Wheels volunteers prepare meals for the many seniors and housebound in Cayman.

Deloitte staff and partners have donated US$50,000 to help Meals on Wheels and Feed Our Future continue to serve at-risk members of the community.

The firm donated US$25,000 to each charity on 1 April, after concluding an internal fundraising effort, which was supported by staff and partners.

In collaboration with the Department of Education Services, along with community partners, Feed Our Future focusses on advocating for and supporting at-risk children in Cayman. The efforts cover a growing number of children – 260 as of 1 April – through meal deliveries, supermarket vouchers, and distribution of care packages. In addition, other Feed Our Future community partners, such as Kiwanis Clubs, have also taken on a large number of children.

“On behalf of the numerous children and families in the Cayman Islands that rely on us we are thankful for our generous friends and supporters in the Deloitte community that are helping us to carry out our work and ease the threat of hunger due to school closures because of the coronavirus,” said Stacey VanDevelde, chair of Feed Our Future, in a press release.

“With your support and the untiring work and commitment of our partners in the Department of Education [Services] and schools throughout the Cayman Islands, we are hard at work to meet the hurried and great need of continuing to ensure children access the food they need to thrive and especially to stay well at this time! Above your kind donations, we urge all to stay at home as much as possible so that we can do our part to reduce this serious threat.”

Meals on Wheels provides free meals to 330 seniors, homebound and disabled members of the community. Jennifer West, general manager at Meals on Wheels, said the donated funds will ensure the organisation can provide hot food and supplemental groceries during the COVID-19  pandemic. West emphasised that, in addition to a meal, the service provides social contact and helps check on the seniors.

However, due to the current social-distancing rules, contact has shifted from in-person to over the phone. Any member of the community wishing to take part in this initiative should contact Meals on Wheels for more information.

West said the donation will help Meals on Wheels provide 4,100 meals.

“During these uncertain times we had to wonder if we could provide our meals as usual since we rely heavily on the contribution of individuals and companies who are community minded like Deloitte,” she added.

Stu Sybersma, managing partner of Deloitte, noted the increased strain on community resources and unemployment as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. “We want to assist those less fortunate, and, in particular, the most vulnerable members of our society, the elderly and children. We are proud of our staff and partners for their generous and immediate support of this initiative, which we hope will help make a significant difference for these charities and the people they are dedicated to supporting,” he said.

“We also wish to thank the many individuals who are working tirelessly behind the scenes to carry out the important work being done by these and other charities to get assistance to those in need. Together, we can all make an impact that matters in our community.”

For more information or to donate, contact:

Meals on Wheels at [email protected] or 769-1974, or www.pledgeasenior.com/donate-to-mow-charity/
Feed Our Future: www.feedourfuturecayman.org/donate/

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