Spike in demand drives appeal for Meals on Wheels PPE

Irish Rural Link is leading an appeal to ensure Ireland’s Meals on Wheels volunteers have masks and gloves to wear and protect the people they help across the country. This basic level of PPE is vital to ensuring the service is maintained as Ireland travels along the road out of Coronavirus restrictions.

Rita Kearney, Interim Project Coordinator; Bernie Ryan, Administrator, and Aileen Corkery, Family Support & Community Development Worker, pictured at Dunmanway Family Resource Centre, representing Dunmanway Meals On Wheels Service in County Cork, with samples of their PPE. Picture: Michael O’Sullivan /OSM PHOTO

For this new appeal, driven by Cork consultancy firm 3SIXTY, businesses stocking up on PPE for workers are being asked to order a little extra, which they can then donate to the Meals on Wheels cause. Managing Partner at 3SIXTY Brian Cremin says “This is our second drive to help Meals on Wheels and follows an earlier drive to source gels and sanitisers. The response we’ve got so far has been wonderful. It’s so inspiring to see businesses making a small investment that makes a huge difference to Meals on Wheels”. 

Demand for Meals on Wheels services has spiked during the pandemic. Restrictions on overall travel and on the movements of people over 70 have forced the closure of the social settings like cafes, pubs, hotels and more, where people, especially older men living alone, would have enjoyed their meals, so they’ve been turning to Meals on Wheels for support.

Irish Rural Link represents more than 200 of the 300 HSE-registered Meals on Wheels organisations across Ireland, and every one of those has reported increased demand in recent months. The team currently coordinates the delivery of around 200,000 meals every week. 

Seamus Boland is Irish Rural Link’s CEO – he says it’s vital the service is maintained: “Covid-19 has hit our users so hard – they’re missing their families, they’re missing their friends – Meals on Wheels is one thing in their lives that hasn’t been taken away by this pandemic and we need these supplies to make sure it stays that way”.

Business group IBEC is also lending its support to the scheme – CEO Danny McCoy says “Irish business are delighted to support this great initiative, at a time of national solidarity it’s important to pull together to support all our communities” 

Any business looking to support the initiative is being asked to get in touch via email through this address: hello(at)your3SIXTY.com

WCP Staff

WCP Staff Writer

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