Grants help Meals On Wheels during COVID-19 pandemic
ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Meals on Wheels Rowan is grateful to the local and statewide non-governmental organizations who provided grants during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rowan County United Way provided funding from the COVID-19 fund to support grocery purchasing and delivery for seniors across Rowan County. Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC provided a grant through the Meals on Wheels NC organization to support the purchasing of boxes, ice packs, and bags to create a “no-contact” delivery.
Cardinal Innovations provided funding for extra meals for participants who are food insecure. The NC State Employees Credit Union provided funding for personal protective equipment for our staff and volunteers and groceries for seniors. Meals on Wheels Rowan continues to support Rowan County Citizens who need food. In addition to home-delivered meals, Meals on Wheels is delivering USDA Food Boxes to Rowan Helping Ministries clients who can’t get out or should not leave their homes to pick up their USDA boxes.
With the support of the Rowan County United Way COVID-19 fund and a small cadre of volunteers, Meals on Wheels began purchasing and delivering groceries and paper supplies to Rowan County seniors in need. Program Director Sandy Combs said, “We are getting three to five calls a day requesting services. Our care coordinators would normally make appointments to do in-home assessments. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Care Coordinators are doing in-depth phone interviews and making services available for new participants who meet our eligibility requirements.”
Suzanne Weber, Meal Coordinator, said, “Our volunteers deliver three chilled meals each Monday and two chilled meals each Thursday. Each meal includes an entrée, two vegetables, two fruits, and milk. The twice a week no-contact meal delivery is an effort to reduce personal exposure and decrease infection risk. Many of our volunteers are over 60 years of age. We want to protect them as well as our participants.” Weber continued, “Volunteers continue to follow our “Safety First” protocol that includes physical distancing, frequent handwashing and wearing masks and gloves.
The staff at Meals on Wheels sourced heavy-duty plastic bags that could accommodate the meal boxes. All boxes are pre-packed in the plastic bags and rolled out to each volunteer’s vehicle.” In addition, many volunteers continue to make “Comfort Calls” to participants each week. Several participants have called the Meals on Wheels office to say how much they appreciate the comfort calls.
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