Nedbank Namibia recently introduced a nationwide meal campaign, partnering with local charities, restaurants and catering services to help unburden healthcare workers in the Covid-19 brawl.
For restaurants and their workers, the abrupt closures, inconsistent re-openings and changes in public health guidance for operations have placed severe pressure on the foodservice industry.
Kick-starting the initiative, Nedbank’s pledge secured up to 2 000 meals for the project, whilst members of the public have been donating via the PayToday app.
“The App makes it much easier for us to run the administrative aspect of the project, which is all done from a spirit of volunteerism. To date, N$9 900 has been received and more is coming through daily. Thus far, 10 restaurants and chefs were given the opportunity to prepare meals, allowing them to help frontline staff and generate a small income at the same time,” said Marsia Reed of Lithon Foundation.
During the first week, El Barrio Tapas Bar and restaurant prepared 381 full meals based on their Latin-inspired recipes for staff at the Katutura Hospital.
“It’s an honour to be a part of this initiative to serve our heroes, to make them happy and to comfort them, especially in these times of crisis,” said one of the restaurant managers.
During the second week, 584 meals from Andy’s Pub were dispatched to the respiratory unit at Katutura Hospital and vaccination sites across the City of Windhoek.
Sardinia Blue Olive prepared pizzas during week three and managed 394 meals in total.
The following week, 369 food parcels were dispatched from Mekenificent Wellness, who provide healthy and delicious meals.
Their team appreciated the selfless job the health workers continue to do.
Outside the capital, meals were prepared by Chef Eli for staff at the Onandjokwe Hospital, whilst other towns benefitting from their local foodservice suppliers included Gobabis, Keetmanshoop, Okahandja, Rehoboth, Rundu, Swakopmund, Tsumeb and Walvis Bay.
Undoubtedly, the initiative is a survival strategy, and it is important to help it to support our local communities.
Lucas Katupao, a nurse at the Prefab Isolation Centre, expressed his utmost gratitude on behalf of the centre.
“Thank you very much for keeping us in mind and acknowledging our efforts. May God bless you,” he said.
Another expression of gratitude came from a healthcare worker, Bernadette Shipanga, who serves at the Roman Catholic hospital. She said the packaged meals help fill a gap and serve as a reminder the country is rooting for health workers.
The strength of this program is demonstrated by the community’s collaborative support – and even though the third wave of Covid-19 cases has subsided, much work remains to be done.
Namibians are encouraged to continue donating for organisers to be able to respond swiftly if necessary as this unprecedented crisis is confronted.
The partnership includes 3Measures, Co-Feed Namibia, Lithon Foundation, PayToday and Ogilvy, and it has achieved commendable work thus far. Total distributions to date are 1751 meals in 4 weeks.
Interested parties are invited to undertake to provide one meal at a time for Namibian healthcare workers. Visit the PayToday app under the Donate-a-Meal account and nominate your preferred hospital or healthcare centre.