Rochester program provides free meals to seniors and money to restaurants


ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) — The City of Rochester is launching phase two of its Senior Meal Restaurant Grant Program.

The program will not only help those older citizens who might be stuck in their house, but it will also give restaurants some much needed economic support.

Louis Carrasquillo, Founder of Munchies Empanadas, is gearing up to cook meals for Rochester seniors. 

“When I go places, you got to see the smiles on people’s faces. It’s priceless,” Carrasquillo said.

This will be Carrasquillo’s second time participating in the program, which delivered nearly 14,000 meals to people age 60 and over during the first phase. 

Three hot meals a week can be ordered through the program, administered by the City’s Department of Neighborhood and Business Development.

“We feel the need is dual, both for the restaurants to keep in business and stay afloat during this difficult time and then for our seniors who struggle to get out about,” said Gary Kirkmire, Neighborhood and business development Commissioner.

25 local restaurants are participating in the second phase. Each can be reimbursed up to $24,900 for meal preparation and delivery costs. Funding comes from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

“This gives us an opportunity to say okay we’re gonna have a little bit of money coming in so we know we can pay for our employees we know we can stay alive for a little bit longer,” said Carrasquillo.

The first deliveries are expected to be made this Friday and the program will run through April 30.

Anyone wishing for more information or to sign up can call the city’s life line at 2-1-1.

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