Leixlip Meals on Wheels is a voluntary organisation which cooks and delivers meals to vulnerable members of the local community. The organisation in Leixlip has been in operation for 43 years having first been established in 1977. They open 4 days a week, every week of the year and on a normal basis, they would cook and deliver around 25 meals per day or just over 100 per week.
In order to prepare the meals each week, Leixlip Meals on Wheels has the use of the kitchen facility in St. Mary’s GAA Club, which is located on Green Lane in Leixlip. Often those who are supported by Meals on Wheels are the elderly and vulnerable in a community for who the organisation regularly provide a main meal and dessert for a nominal charge. There are over 100 volunteers involved in the organisation which is split roughly into 50 drivers and 50 cooks. There are also administrative volunteer roles involving the management of the volunteer rota, managing the client list, organising supplies and facilitating special requirements. Volunteers give their time on a rota basis so that the workload is manageable for everyone involved. Students from St. Joseph’s Secondary School in Lucan also volunteer their time every week.
This week we spoke to Philip Naessens, Chairperson of the Leixlip Meals on Wheels service who explained the impact the Coronavirus pandemic has had on the organisation;
“To start, for us to maintain social distance in the kitchen we normally use would simply not be possible. The kitchen in the GAA club is adequate for our daily work but it is quite small. In addition, unfortunately, the numbers of volunteers supporting the organisation at the moment has decreased as many of them are over the age of 70, an age range which is at a much higher risk to the virus, meaning they could not volunteer, even if they wanted to as they are required to Cocoon. Luckily, a number of people from the local community who are able to, stepped in and offered to volunteer to help us through this time. To manage the food situation, we approached the Springfield Hotel in Leixlip who will now cook the meals. Intel have helped to support this by funding the costs of meals for a number of weeks. Contact is minimised as the cooked meals are boxed and brought out to the driver’s car. The driver then delivers the meals and disinfects all the boxes after use”.
This is a wonderful example of the local community working together in tough times to ensure that vital services, such as that provided by the Meals on Wheels, remain available.
Speaking about Intel’s support of the Leixlip Meal’s on Wheels organisation, External Relations Manager Lisa Harlow said; “As the COVID-19 situation began to evolve, our thoughts quickly turned to the Leixlip Meals on Wheels organisation. Intel Ireland has been a long-standing supporter of Meals on Wheels in Leixlip recognising the vital service they provide, and appreciating that their service, at this time, is more important than ever. One of the specific challenges that the group has at this time is how to continue to provide the service for elderly and vulnerable members of the community who are reliant on the meals. We made a donation to help ensure that they could continue their vital work over the coming weeks – we hope that this small gesture will be of practical support to our local community at this challenging time”.
Read more about Intel’s Coronavirus response in Ireland: Intel allocates €500,000 for Coronavirus Relief in Ireland
Read more about Intel’s Coronavirus response globally: Intel Coronavirus News
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