Meals on Wheels in the age of coronavirus

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No senior refused food, need for volunteers ramping up

In the age of the Covid-19 pandemic, Meals on Wheels in Ontario County is delivering more food than ever to those senior citizens who are isolated.

“In this time of crisis, we’re actually providing a meal to any senior that needs it,” says Irene Coveny with Ontario County Office of the Aging.

Coveny says eligibility criteria for receiving a meal has been waived for the time being, while the coronavirus pandemic continues.

“Seniors as you know are in the high risk category. We want them to stay home and stay safe,” she says. “We are delivering more than ever right now.”

Coveny says they pass out about 300 meals a day, which provide essential nutrition some of these people might not get. She says they are relying on volunteers like Geneva high school teacher Jeffery Dunham.

“I volunteered once I found out what was going on,” says Dunham.

Dunham answered the call a couple of weeks ago when greater measures to stop the spread of coronavirus started; he’s doing his route with added precautions in place.

“I’m wearing gloves, I use hand sanitizer, I don’t make contact with the individuals,” he says.

Those extra measures also include calling clients beforehand, leaving meals at doorsteps, and wearing masks when necessary.

“At some point we’re all going to be there. We’re all going to need the help. For me to do my part and chip in, it’s important I think,” he adds.

Coveny says they are also helping to deliver groceries and supplies to seniors in this time, as well as making morale calls to some of the most isolated seniors so they have someone to talk to.

If you’d like to volunteer for Meals on Wheels in Ontario County, or receive a meal, click here. Monroe County is also distributing food to seniors in need and are asking for volunteers. More information can be found here.

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