Recognizing that an increasing number of seniors need assistance during this critical time, Meals on Wheels sought out ways to provide even more food to those in need. In the spring, they launched a new program to provide a second set of meals for homebound seniors and disabled adults. Every Thursday, clients in Salem and Keizer received 6 additional frozen meals to supplement their daily meal deliveries during the height of the pandemic.
Not only did the program fill a key need, it also allowed Marion Polk Food Share to engage a community partner, Fresh n’ Local Foods. Traditionally focused on providing fresh, high quality food to local schools, Fresh n’ Local Foods was able to revitalize their workforce to create these additional meals for seniors. The meals were nutritionally balanced, and as the name suggests, full of fresh food sourced locally.
Having an additional set of meals available is one thing, but having the ability to deliver those meals is quite different. This second delivery was made entirely possible thanks to an outpouring of support from the community in the form of new Meals on Wheels volunteer drivers. Close to 200 members of the community stepped forward at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteering their time to help feed our neighbors.
This support from the community gives seniors and disabled adults access to healthy meals. It’s a lifeline that is especially important during this critical time.