Meals on Wheels
St Munchin’s Community Centre Meals on Wheels – St Munchin’s Community Centre in Kileely not only provide a central accessible community hub in their area but also offer a very valuable service to all of the people of Limerick including my family, with their ‘Meals on Wheels’ service.
My Dad suffered two serious strokes last year and my Mam has been ill with Parkinson’s Disease for over 20 years and I care for both of them. Since last November I have been having hot meals from the centre delivered to our door. It has made a huge difference to my family as it has taken so much stress out of the daily grind. The food is delicious, with a different main course each day along with dessert and my Mam has actually gained a little weight for the first time in years.
Linda Ledger, the centre manager talked to me about why they felt the need to provide this service for the people of Limerick, “We wanted to address isolation and social exclusion for the older members of our community. The first time we ever delivered meals was because a lovely local couple named Mr. and Mrs. O’Donovan visited the centre one day to have a meal and while here Mr. O’Donovan fell ill. I took him to the hospital and after he got out he could no longer come to the centre with his wife for their meals so we started delivering their meals to them and that is how the service got started.”
They now been availing of the meals for the past 5 years and Mrs. O’Donovan told me, “St. Munchins have always been there for us. They responded to our needs and are extremely alert to the older people in the community.” She describes the work of St.Munchin’s and Gerard O’Halloran who delivers the meals as “God’s gift. I would genuinely be lost without the meals because I can’t cook for myself because of a disability.”
Students from secondary schools across Limerick, LIT and UL volunteer in the centre to help with the meals on wheels and Jason O’Callaghan from St. Nessan’s School tells me, “I saw the older people who couldn’t cook for themselves and felt that I should help them any way I could”. Linda added, “We want to promote and respect older people’s engagement in social, cultural, community and family life to help foster better solidarity between generations.
Also we want to promote the equality, independence, participation, care, self-fulfillment and dignity of older people at all times. Research shows that as people age they wish to remain in their own homes for as long as possible and with this in mind we aim to create more services such as our Meals on Wheels to help them to achieve this.” If you cannot make it to the centre, phone them prior to 11am they will deliver to you for that day, meals cost €5 with dessert.
For questions or further information on ‘Meals on Wheels’ or volunteer opportunities please contact Teresa at (061) 596011.
By Richard Lynch