Centre scrambling for veggies for elderly

Hairdresser Juanita Martin, of Kraaifontein, styles the hair of Maureen Thomas, a senior resident.

The national food crisis, which has seen prices rocket because of the drought, has left the Oostenberg Service Centre in Kraaifontein scrambling for vegetables that go into the more than 500 daily meals it prepares for elderly people in the northern suburbs. The centre’s Meals on Wheels programme, which delivers the meals, had already taken a knock when two of the farmers supplying it vegetables had to pull out because of the drought.

Despite this, Yolande Brockman, the programme’s manager, has vowed it will soldier on, feeding between 30 to 35 elderly residents daily at the centre and more than 500 others through Meals on Wheels at their homes in Kraaifontein, Brackenfell, Kuils River and Durbanville.

“We struggle to get vegetables, and we have to make do with whatever we get from one local farm,” Ms Brockman said, referring to the weekly delivery of vegetables from the Edwern-Heim Boerdery farm in Kraaifontein.

Ms Brockman said the centre’s state subsidy barely covered basic services, and it had to rely on public donations and fund-raising to keep going.

The centre runs daily arts and crafts activities for the elderly, arranges lifts to the shops and clinic visits and organises outings and short holidays.

Juanita Martin, a professional Kraaifontein hairdresser visits the centre on Thursdays to do the seniors’ hair.

“Meals on Wheels is also desperate for assistance and also needs reliable pensioners to help to deliver the meals, transport the elderly and assist in preparing the meals,” said Ms Brockman.

If you can help, contact her at 0219881700 or 0845511793.