Seniors are among the most vulnerable in this crisis, but it’s not just because they have an increased likelihood of underlying conditions. Placer County has a significant population of homebound seniors who rely on regular food delivery and wellness checks. That’s why Seniors First and their Meals on Wheels program was prioritized as an initial grantee from the Fund.
Within the first month of the shutdown, Placer County’s Meals on Wheels program faced an increase in demand that would require them to scale up from 26 to 42 deliveries three time a week.
“I don’t know how many routes at the end it’s going to be because right now the need is incredible and it doesn’t stop,” said Meals on Wheels program manager Ty Sanchez.
In early April, PCF was on-site for a food drop at Maidu Village, a low-income senior complex in Roseville. A resident and delivery recipient named Karen shared about how important the regular deliveries are to her and her neighbors.
PCF’s COVID-19 funds helped Seniors First quickly move from cafeteria-style hot meals to emergency shelf-stable meals. The safely-distanced visits also offer an important opportunity for wellness checks.
“Our volunteers are rock stars,” said Ty. “They call 911. We have an incident about once a week and if they weren’t there, so there’s no telling what would happen.”
I have almost all of the health conditions that they tell you are dangerous for the coronavirus,” said Karen. “I have to be very careful… I really appreciate they’re bringing the meals in twice a week.