Local groups continue working to feed seniors during novel coronavirus pandemic
Agencies across Delaware are working hard to get food and services to seniors in need during the continuing Coronavirus pandemic.
Meals on Wheels Delaware continues to get meals to the First State’s seniors, but its director Anne Love says they are facing challenges since seniors are at greater risk for COVID-19.
Meal deliveries are adapting to meet current guidance on social distancing. Volunteers must leave meals outside doors and can’t spend time with seniors when they deliver. And Love says other delivery methods are becoming limited.
“Many of our Meals on Wheels programs are delivered by Senior Centers, who previously had seniors who would come into a dining room for lunch and those programs have been discontinued, said Love. "Some of the Senior Centers are continuing to offer a service where seniors can come in and pick up a lunch.”
The Salvation Army faces similar challenges helping seniors - according to its Delaware director of development Carl Colantuono,
“In terms of how we serve clients, we’re trying to minimize for both our clients and ourselves interactions that would be detrimental to either," said Colantuono. "So we were forced to consider our most vulnerable clients in terms of our Senior Center and we made the decision - the hard decision - to close that down for two weeks.”
Colantuono says the agency is still calling seniors and volunteers are staging food and care packages to deliver to their homes.
He says they don’t currently need volunteers, but Meals on Wheels says it is seeking some.
Meantime, Colantuono says in Seaford the group’s mobile food truck is delivering meals-to-go people in need, but especially to students whose schools closed because of the pandemic.
“The local school district was unable to do feeding of students when they closed," said Colantuono. "So we were given a list of about a dozen or more communities that we were asked to help serve.”
Colantuono says the Salvation Army in Dover will be giving out lunch bags-to-go Monday through Friday and possibly on Saturdays.