Meals on Wheels by ACC is adapting its services for the health and safety of participants, as well as staff and volunteers, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Partnerships and program changes enable MoW to continue delivering meals to seniors throughout Sacramento County.
Under normal circumstances, MoW serves lunch five days a week, free of charge, to approximately 800 participants age 60 and over at its twenty All Seasons Cafes throughout Sacramento County. With all of the cafes closed during the crisis, MoW is delivering shelf-stable meals to all participants.
MoW has been able to continue its normal service of delivering meals, free of charge, to approximately 1,400 homebound and frail seniors — with new safety measures to ensure social distancing, including leaving meals on doorsteps. Knowing how critical the program’s in-home visiting and assessments are, MoW volunteers are now checking on participants by phone to ensure they are safe and well.
“With all our meals currently delivered to homes, we make sure staff has personal protection equipment and practices social distancing and sanitizing,” says Kevin McAllister, executive director. “Though volunteers would normally deliver meals, they’re sheltering in place, and our staff has taken over this role with tremendous help from ACC Senior Services drivers.”
Funding for MoW comes from federal, state and local grants, as well as private donations and corporate support. “Without those contributions and the support of the business community,” McAllister says, “we couldn’t do the work we do.”
MoW thanks ACC Senior Services and the Cosumnes River College Firefighter and EMT interns for assisting with meal delivery, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department and its dedicated volunteers for keeping social contact with seniors by phone. MoW hopes to have volunteers back on-site by July and welcomes anyone interested in volunteering to call (916) 444-9533 to learn more.