Aileen McDermott, Jane Conlon and Nina Gray of Sodalicious, who made the decision to close because of the Coronavirus are donating food to the Simon Community - Picture: Adrian Butler
TRADERS across Limerick have shown their true colours, with many affording donations to communities in need across the city.
Sodalicious cafe owner Jane Conlon has made a significant food gift to the Mid-West Simon Community, which supports homeless and vulnerable people.
And the newly opened Spitjack’s restaurant, and the Buttery in Bedford Row have given food to St Munchin’s Community Centre, which delivers meals on wheels to the elderly across Limerick.
Jane Conlon, proprietor of Sodalicious, which is at the junction of Henry Street and Lower Cecil Street, said she would not have been able to sleep at night if she had not donated perishable food to the Simon community.
“I had a cold room full of perishable foods. So we decided to turn them into goods to donate to the vulnerable and homeless, whoever the Mid-West Simon Community chooses,” she explained, “I turned a whole load of chickens into a beautiful chicken casserole. We made potted food, and soup as well.”
Ms Conlon, who has lived in Limerick for 20 years, said: “I would have been awake at night having thoughts about not giving enough food out. I've given staff food, and they've all gone home with boxes. But the other stuff, I couldn't have slept if I didn't do anything with it.”
She thinks when life returns to some sense of normality after this outbreak, Ireland will be a much kinder society.
“I think when this is all over, people are going to be better for it, I really do. I think it is the making of our society. There will be huge acts of kindness and love shown throughout the following weeks, months and possibly years,” the businesswoman added.
Meanwhile, with people being urged to self-isolate to delay the spread of the flu-like disease, St Munchin’s Community Centre in Kileely is stepping up its meals-on-wheels service.
But, its manager Linda Ledger has revealed, due to the fact the centre as a whole is closed for public safety reasons, it has left a hole in their finances, which the hairdresser, cafe, photographer and other social enterprises would have brought in.
With 26 people employed, it has presented a big problem to the centre boss.
The businesses stepping in has proven to be vital, Linda added.
“Spitjacks gave us in some of their food and the Buttery gave us some of theirs. It was really nice of them,” she said, “It was items like bread, cream and fruitcake. Our local pub, Kinsella’s have also helped. They always come up with something.”
A GoFundMe internet-based fundraiser has also been launched to help the Meals on Wheels service, and has seen €610 raised as of this Tuesday afternoon.
St Munchin’s Community Centre staff are working with the HSE to identify those who need the meals on wheels the most at this time.
“At the moment, we are doing our traditional deliveries for the over-65s, but we don’t know what will happen next. We have our state-of-the-art kitchen, we have three chefs and four vans on the road,” she added.
Lessons were learnt from the flooding which hit much of the northside in 2014, Linda said.
To check out the GoFundMe page click here
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