A COHORT of kindhearted souls has taken over the running of the Blarney Meals on Wheels in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Local woman Kate Durrant is a part of the new team looking after the vital service which changed hands to safeguard vulnerable volunteers in at-risk groups.
“Meals on Wheels came to us," said Kate.
"There is a group of us here in Blarney, involved in a few things.
"The volunteers stood down as they did not want to put themselves at risk.”
From Wednesday, meals have been cooked at the Castle Hotel in Blarney and delivered to homes around the Blarney area around lunchtime.
“We want to get to as many people as possible and we are still taking on more.
"We have the capacity to deliver to more people if needs be.”
Kate said that a number of health and safety precautions were being taken to deliver the food to those who need it, but also that all meals would be delivered with a smile.
“We don’t want to put people at risk, we will be delivering all meals at the door, we won’t be going in.”
Kate said it was more than just delivering food, it was about making sure individuals didn’t go hungry or lonely.
“It’s about letting people know that they are not alone and that help is just a phone call away.”
Ms Durrant is also involved in with Saint Vincent De Paul who regularly deliver food hampers to hundreds of families across Cork on a weekly basis.
“We are busier than normal,” Kate said.
"The hampers are essential and we do them all the time but we are also now bringing people cleaning products such as kitchen towels, loo paper, cleaning sprays, etc.”
She also said that in these strange times there has been a number of goodwill gestures from restaurants and businesses who have donated food and supplies to SVP.
To get in touch with Blarney Meals on Wheels, contact Kate on 087-2330398 and for Saint Vincent De Paul, contact Tuckey Street on 021-4270444.
Meanwhile, postmasters have assured the public that Post Offices are remaining open as an essential service to local communities.
The Irish Postmasters’ Union General Secretary Ned O’Hara said: “Social distancing will require Postmasters to limit the number of customers in the premises at any one time.
“Hand sanitisers are being installed in all Post Offices.
“Opening hours are being extended and adjusted to suit local requirements and this is being kept under review."