Over the past couple of weeks, Red Cross volunteers have been delivering food and other groceries to households that suddenly were placed in quarantine because they had come into contact with a COVID-positive case or because a member of their family had tested positive.
Families in isolation have found themselves with empty fridges and cupboards as they had no notice they were about to be quarantined.
Those short of money, or with no credit cards or internet access, who were unable to order food and groceries online had no option but to turn to neighbors, family members, colleagues, and politicians to assist them before the government last week announced a new approach. Health Minister Sabrina Turner, at a 14 Oct. press briefing, revealed that people in quarantine should contact the Public Health Flu Hotline to request assistance.
The Red Cross, Hazard Management Cayman Islands, and Foster’s are part of the programme to bring groceries to those in need.
How the process works
To apply for help, a person in quarantine should first contact the Flu Hotline and put in a request for groceries; that request is assessed and then a referral is made to the Red Cross.
The budgeting of the programme is carried out by Hazard Management, while Foster’s supplies and prepares standard grocery kits, with tinned food and other non-perishable items – similar to hurricane food supplies – that are already placed in carts, ready for pick-up and delivery by Red Cross volunteers.
A spreadsheet is provided to the Red Cross with the names and addresses of those in quarantine who are in need of deliveries, along with specific requests for additional items like diapers or baby formula, or feminine hygiene products.
Foster’s prepares trolleys of items every morning, with enough supplies for about 10 large families. Each cart has enough items to feed a family of five, though, in one recent delivery, the Red Cross was called to help out a household with nine people in it. In that case, we doubled up on the supplies.
Between 9 Oct. and 20 Oct., the Red Cross delivered groceries to 178 people – 104 adults and 74 children.
The majority of deliveries are being made to homes in the George Town area, with each volunteer making an average of three deliveries a day.
Who to contact
Those who need this kind of support can call 1-800-534-8600, 925-6327, or 947-3077, or email [email protected].