Meals on Wheels in Onondaga Co. prepares for possibility of coronavirus outbreak (CNYCentral)
ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. — More than 260 people in northern Onondaga County rely on Meals on Wheels every day as their way of getting food.
The program delivers nutritious meals to homebound seniors and people who can't make it out of their homes.
While they already have a pretty strict cleaning protocol in place, their precautions are now heightened with the possibility of the coronavirus coming to the county.
"We're sending emails about it. We're putting hand sanitizers on the tables that they sit at. We're making sure they report back to us if our clients are ill, so we can call their emergency contact,” said Jennifer Covert, executive director of Meals on Whelels North.
The program also has a plan in case Meals on Wheels can’t operate.
"In case we shut down, we are stockpiling meals right now, so that we're able to send them two weeks worth of meals in case we're not able to deliver,” Covert said.
But it's not all about receiving food. Many of these clients rely on the volunteers for social interactions., as more than half of their clients are isolated and alone.
"Sometimes we're the only people that they see a day, which is really sad, but they also really look forward to our volunteers smiling faces coming in and delivering them their food.”
If they don't get that social contact with someone, Covert says it has a big impact on them -- which could leave them sad and depressed, eventually causing health problems.
"They need a friendly face. They need to know that someone cares about them, because if their loved ones are gone, what's left?”Credit Source: CNYcentral by Amanda Chin