Read time 02 mins

45 Years... 350,000 hot meals.

And a kindness returned thanks to you.

In 1975, a group of SVP's volunteers began delivering 'Meals on Wheels' to the elderly and housebound in need of a hot dinner and a helping hand.

Now, almost half a century later, one man's kindness is being returned to him, thanks to you…

'Ding dong'... as the springtime sun sets over beautiful County Kerry, Michael's doorbell sounds its cheery tune.

On a little table in the front porch, he finds his hot dinner waiting for him.

Normally, the driver, who himself has been an SVP volunteer Meals on Wheels driver for over 30 years, would pop his head in for a quick chat with Michael. But coronavirus has changed all that...

Today, he can only give Michael a friendly wave from a safe distance before he's away to his next delivery.

This year, the service celebrates its 45th birthday during what is the most challenging and demanding year in its history.

Kindness comes full circle

Michael was one of the dedicated and proactive SVP volunteers who started the Meals on Wheels service.

Back then, he wanted to help make sure seniors, the housebound, and disabled people could get a hearty home-cooked meal each day.

Now, the very kindness he showed to his neighbours all those years ago is being returned to him.

"Little did I think back then in 1975 when we started the service that I'd be needing it myself," says Michael, who is coming up to his 90th birthday.

"It's a wonderful service… marvellous," Michael tells us. And, he says, the generosity of the people of Ireland is as strong today as it was 45 years ago...

"We felt at the time when we were starting it that we might have trouble finding people to deliver Meals on Wheels, but we had no problem."

And it's a good thing too, because from Malin to Mizen and every county along the way, coronavirus has put an enormous pressure on all of SVP’s services.

Under pressure

Since lockdown began, the demand for our Meals on Wheels service in Kerry has more than doubled.

Hannah, who helps run the service today and is herself in her seventies and cocooning, says the increase in demand comes as it’s impossible to raise funds locally…

“We usually put on Bingo on a Sunday night, but it’s stopped, and our shop is closed, so we’ve no source of income right now.” 

And that’s why your generosity is more cherished now than ever...

Because of you, our dedicated local volunteers, and the chefs — who refused to stop cooking during this crisis — the service has been able to keep up with the demand and deliver hot meals to vulnerable people every day.

May the kindness and goodwill you give so generously in these tough times return itself to you in a thousand wonderful ways. Thank you for your heart of gold!

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