In 2021, Red Cross volunteers delivered 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 family member 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 were part of the program to bring groceries to those in need.
How the process worked
To apply for help, a person in quarantine would first contact the Flu Hotline and request groceries; that request was assessed and then a referral was made to the Red Cross.
The budgeting of the program was carried out by Hazard Management, while Foster’s supplied and prepared 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 was 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 prepared trolleys of items every morning, with enough supplies for about 10 large families. Each cart had enough items to feed a family of five, though, in one 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.