Pandemic fuels uncertainty
Nonprofit Rallies to Feed Placer County Seniors
(Auburn, CA) – As the Coronavirus pandemic plays out in real time, Placer County’s elderly are the lonely victims of social distancing and food scarcity.
Faced with concerns of transmission, they have been asked to self-quarantine, further adding to the isolation and food insecurity that many are already facing. This makes them particularly vulnerable to the adverse health effects that so often accompany a lack of proper and consistent nutrition.
In fact, these food-insecure seniors are more likely to develop chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes and heart problems, putting them at further risk of developing severe symptoms should they contract COVID-19.
Virtual food drive
Seniors First will participate in an annual national senior nutrition awareness campaign, March for Meals, by organizing a virtual food drive. Supporters are asked to donate directly to Seniors First’s website to provide non-perishable food items which will then be safely delivered to seniors in need. In addition, funds will be utilized to purchase emergency shelf-stable meals delivered directly to seniors in their homes.
“Access to meals has been cut drastically due to mandated self-quarantine and social distancing. Our congregate dining sites are closed and we have had to modify Meals on Wheels meal delivery. Many seniors are going without the food they so desperately need, but our community can safely help by donating to our virtual food drive,” commented Seniors First Executive Director Stephanie Vierstra.
Every March, the Meals on Wheels Association of American organizes March for Meals to raise awareness of senior nutrition programs and the impact they can have in communities around the country. An example of such a program is Seniors First, Placer County’s only senior-focused nonprofit organization. Working to increase access to nutritious food for ambulatory seniors, Seniors First operates a comprehensive senior nutrition program that includes:
- Meals on Wheels – a local contract of the national program that provides meals to needy, hungry seniors
- Senior Cafés – seven neighborhood congregate dining sites where seniors can comfortably gather on weekdays for a nutritious lunch and interaction.
As these sites are now closed due to guidelines from the CDC and local officials, this virtual food drive is only way to ensure hungry seniors are adequately fed during the pandemic.
Seniors First is always in need of friendly, dedicated volunteers and financial support to underwrite these and other programs and services for Placer County’s elderly and their families. If you or someone you know would like to get involved, please contact Seniors First at (530)889-9500 or www.SeniorsFirst.org.