Healthcare workers are struggling – hospitals are at full capacity and medical staff are working long hours, sometimes not managing to get home at all between shifts.
Dr Amelia Brink, a paediatrician at Vergelegen Mediclinic, recently appealed to the community to support frontline workers in any way they can, saying: “We are reaching out for help. The hospital I work at is at tipping point. The crisis is taking its toll… the staff are not coping any more.”
Helderberg resident Nikita Maxwell has stepped up to the challenge, and her fledgling catering company, Sugar and Spice, can provide healthy home-cooked meals in frozen format for only R45 per meal.
Her goal is to supply each of the three local hospitals (Mediclinic, Busamed and Helderberg hospitals) with 100 meals every week, to be distributed to staff in need of nourishment.
In the last two weeks she has personally delivered 600 meals, and believes that with further funding she can supply even more. A professional chef who has recently suffered retrenchment, she cooks in her home kitchen supported by a network of friends and family.
In order to fund this initiative, Nikita has made extensive use of social media, and has managed to secure several company sponsors.
Counsellor Stuart Pringle has also contributed through mobilising the local Neighbourhood Watch network, and additional funding has come from Helderberg Rotary Anns.
Nikita labels each meal with a “sponsor” sticker, and this use of branding, combined with social media links, has enabled dialogue between donor and recipient.
The meals are designed to be highly nutritious but easy to make, so capacity can be ramped up at short notice. There are two choices of menu each week as she tries to cater for individual preferences.
Helderberg Sunrise Rotary Club (HSRC) applauds the efforts made by Nikita, and has committed to raise further funding for this important initiative.
They ask for residents of the Helderberg Basin to support the frontline healthcare workers, and show them that the community appreciates all they do, especially in this challenging time.
The HSRC “Frontline” project team has audited Nikita’s business processes, and can confirm that all funds raised will directly benefit hospital staff. Nikita herself works closely with the hospital administrators to ensure that every meal she delivers goes to someone who desperately needs it.
Nikita says “We can only do this if we have the support from the community. Even if one meal is sponsored, that is one person that has received a home-cooked meal”.
For those who wish to support this initiative through donations, contact Richard Saxby, Helderberg Sunrise Rotary Club Frontline project manager, at 083 646 3100, or contact Nikita Maxwell at 083 845 7777.