Crucial food support for seniors
As accessing healthy food has become a challenge for many in our community, United Way’s 2-1-1 Helpline has seen a 61% increase in calls for food assistance. The need is especially significant for seniors, who are considered high risk for exposure to COVID-19.
With support from a United Way emergency response grant, Senior Services Plus (SSP) is helping seniors stay healthy by:
- Expanding their Meals on Wheels program to deliver frozen meals to more than 900 seniors every day. Each meal contains 33% of their daily nutrition and is dropped off at the door to minimize contact.
- Providing seniors with five frozen meals each week on top of additional care packages with fresh produce and shelf-stable staples to help fill the gaps.
- Expanding their fleet to make more deliveries. With 15 to 20 seniors enrolled each week, funding from United Way helps offset the rising costs of vehicle maintenance, fuel, and more food.
What this support means
60% of Meals on Wheels participants do not have family in the area, so for them, SSP is the only support system to make sure they’re safe and fed.
SSP staff regularly call each participant to check in on their health and safety. Participants regularly report how grateful they are to receive the meals, says Jonathan Becker, CEO. Many have said that without the help, they simply didn’t know how they were going to stay fed while sheltering at home.
We are all United
This is just one example of the critical work being done in our community right now. In the coming weeks, United Way will continue to stand by our region, helping with both critical disaster relief and long-term recovery efforts.
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Emily (Becherer) Gearhart is a proud native St. Louisan, writer and lover of stories in all their forms. Faced with a captivating question, she will research her way down a rabbit hole and emerge with words that educate and inspire. You can probably find her taking in a musical, bingeing through a new podcast series, exploring the trails at local parks or curating her extensive library of Spotify playlists.