Catering company is volunteering time to make hot meals for staff in hospital

By Mary Dennehy

A TALLAGHT catering company is volunteering its time to make hot meals for staff at Tallaght University Hospital, with 3,000 meals delivered to date.

Rod O’ Connor, who grew up in Tallaght, set up his catering business Rod’s Kitchen some 20 years ago.

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VOLUNTEERS: Paddy and Rod from Rod’s kitchen

After temporarily closing his business to the public nearly four weeks ago, Rod put a message on his Facebook page inviting any emergency services in need of meals to get in touch.

“A staff member from Tallaght University Hospital got in touch and asked me if I could send meals over at the weekend”, Rod told The Echo.

“I was looking at the news a few weeks ago and thought I have to play my part, plus I was in a position that I could do it.

“I have a premises and a kitchen close to Tallaght Hospital in Whitestown.”

Rod teamed up with his brothers Paddy and Sean, who together run O’Connor Heating and Plumbing.

The lads, who are being quite modest in their efforts, made contact with a number of businesses within the building industry and raised enough money for 10,000 free hot meals for TUH.

“We’ve made 3,000 [hot meals] so far”, Rod said.

“We deliver 500 meals on a Saturday and 500 on a Sunday.

“On a Saturday we do a chicken curry or a chilli con carne and on a Sunday, a roast dinner.

“I’m getting messages off nurses and doctors saying thanks for the meals.

“You wouldn’t believe how much it means to them to get a meal, a hot meal can make so much of a difference. “

Rod has five people volunteering alongside him to make the weekend meals for TUH.

On Tuesday evening, Rod appeared in a segment on RTE’s One’s new programme, Ireland on Call, which airs on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7pm.

The show features information and advice from experts alongside showcasing the national effort being made to help Ireland get through these unprecedented times.

After appearing on the show, Rod told The Echo that he received more than 50 calls and numerous emails from people wanting to help.

Thanking everyone for reaching out, Rod confirmed that they currently have enough resources to produce 10,000 meals for TUH staff.

Rodney also thanked Musgraves, which is giving them a discount on food.

For further details follow Rod’s Kitchen on Facebook.

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