Spike in demand drives appeal for Meals on Wheels PPE

Irish Rural Link is calling on businesses to order a little extra PPE for their workplace that can then be donated to Meals on Wheels. 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)

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.

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.

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. Several communities throughout The Avondhu area provide the valuable service.

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”.

Any business looking to support the initiative is being asked to get in touch.