Staff at Cloverfield House Glin working in the kitchen when the Leader visited in October - Picture: Marie Keating
THE wheels are still turning for Meals on Wheels services in West Limerick, providing a key support to older citizens and those most vulnerable at this time of Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are continuing,” said Mary Curtin, who is a member of Rathkeale Meals on Wheels. which provides dinners on Tuesdays and Thursdays to up to two dozen people. “At least they are getting two good meals and they can stretch them out because they are quite substantial meals”.
The service even went ahead on St Patrick’s Day, Ms Curtin said. The volunteers came in, the drivers went out and everybody was observing the guidelines sent out by the HSE.
In Glin, there is strong demand for the Meals on Wheels service which operates out of the Cloverfield Day Care Centre.
There, the team led by Ballymaloe-trained chef Rachel Duff, provides over 55 meals a day to customers in Glin, Loughill/Ballyhahill, Athea and Tarbert.
Now, John Anthony Culhane explained, because of Covid-19, the 20 residents of the Cloverfield Sheltered Houses can no longer use the dining room at the Day Care Centre and instead the daily dinner is being delivered to residents’ own homes.
“People need it now more than ever,” he said, adding: “The staff are willing to continue.” And he expressed his appreciation to them and to drivers, Jimmy Keane and Eamon Sweeney.
Everybody, he stressed is abiding by the directions of the HSE which includes social distancing but it still provides a community-based way to check on vulnerable citizens.
Hot, nourishing dinners also continue to be served up to the residents of St Ita’s Sheltered Houses in Abbeyfeale. Residents can have the dinners delivered to their door or can go to the dining room in the Day Care Centre where they have to sit six feet party.
The Day Care Centre has been welcoming up to 80 or more older citizens through its doors twice a week, people who have come by bus from outlying areas lunch, entertainment and other services available to them at the centre. Unfortunately, this has been discontinued but an alternative food delivery service has been arranged through a partnership of local businesses and the local community council.
The Day Care Centre in Dromcollogher has closed for the moment but, says Seamus Stack, meals are being delivered from the centre to people’s homes.
The Day Care Centre at the Desmond Complex in Newcastle West, which provided meals and other for dozens of pensioners each week, has closed. Restaurants in the town are providing a home delivery service.
The meals service provided to residents of the sheltered housing scheme in Broadford has been discontinued for the time being.