Financial uphill battle for Meals on Wheels

MEALS on Wheels Community Services in Buffalo City is in dire need of financial assistance.
The organisation was established in July 1964 by the Seventh Day Adventist Church, and the East London branch was the first to operate in the country.

Secretary Asthon Botha said Meals on Wheels was a community service outreach programme that helped the elderly, poor and physically challenged people of the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality and surrounding areas.

“We provide cooked meals, soup, clothing and whatever else that we can. We have a community centrer for the senior citizens where they participate in various activities to that will keep them healthy. We also deliver meals door to door in the surrounding suburbs of East London.

These meals are prepared, cooked, packed into our vans and are given to those who are in need. Meal deliveries are done on a Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.”
Meals were made as nutritious as possible as many of thee meal recipients were in poor health.

“Once a week we try to give out a little treat, which is always appreciated, especially by those who cannot afford such luxuries. These treats can be in the form of puddings, cakes, yoghurts, juice or fruit.”

In order for Meals on Wheels Community Services to help more people, they have 32 soup kitchens situated at various points that operate on a daily basis in the rural areas. People receive a serving of warm soup with meat, vegetables and some bread.

“We have people from the various areas who reach out to us for help, informing us of the dire conditions in which many vulnerable people live. We deliver up to 1000 meals on a weekly basis; so in total we feed 40000 people monthly.”

Botha said Meals on Wheels had recently lost a major donor who funded the protein contributions to the meal.
Fundraising is done through hosted events, with a charity shop on the premises.

Botha urged the community to assist as the number of people in need of a meal were growing with about R60000 a month spent on food, electricity and petrol.

For more information on how to donate to the on Meals on Wheels’ fundraiser – the Valentine’s Day luncheon (see page 9 for details) – contact them on (043)735-2166 .

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