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The Meals-on-Wheels Programme

How It Started

PCW's Meals-on-Wheels Programme was born out of a desire by residents of the Pinelands community to find a systematic way cater meals to the less fortunate in the society. The elderly, who were often left on their own and who are disabled in their old age, were especially targeted for assistance.Because of their disabilities they cannot cook or clean for themselves and therefore if left completely on their own they will live under extremely unhygenic conditions. This is not only unhealthy to the individual but also to the community at large.
Concerned residents took matters into their own hands by going to these homes, cleaning them and providing meals for the elderly on a daily basis.
The advent of the Home Help Programme of the government's National Assistance Board solved some but not all of the problems. The gap caused by the non weekend coverage by the NAB had to be plugged- and so the Pinelands Meals-on Wheels Programme was officially launched on September 7th, 1997 with 23 recipients.

The Recipients

Almost all of the recipients are senior citizens. They are a few cases of families in extreme poverty, usually headed by a single mother with multiple children. In these cases the mothers are mentally challenged and virtually unemployable.
The elderly who are provided for are either blind or suffer from such chronic ailments like diabetes and arthritis. Those who are not amputees are restricted in their physical movements and cannot stand for long periods or perform chores that call for repetitive hand movements- such as washing clothes or dishes.

The Contributors

The Meals-on-Wheels program was started very modestly with a donation of a refrigerator and stove from local store Standard Distributors. Soon these other local donors lent their support :- Rick's Supermarket, The Barbados Pig Farners' Co-op, Sam's Vegetable World, Harry's Vegetable Basket, The Packaging Center, Two Guys Mini Mart, Catelli Food Products, Chickmont Foods and The Barbados National Food Crop Cooperative. Since then the program has had to depend on weekly and monthly donors to sustain the program.

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