Question: Can you tell me more about this program that delivers restaurant meals to seniors?
The program is called “Great Plates Delivered” and was announced by Governor Newsom on April 26th. The concept of the program is twofold. First, it supports local restaurants by providing them business by making and providing these meals. And, it helps support older adults who need meals delivered at home.
For those who qualify, they will receive three meals a day delivered to their home for seven days a week for a total of 21 meals a week. This can be a lifesaver for older adults who have difficulty cooking, preparing and securing their meals at home right now. When the program was first announced, it was only established to continue until May 10th but has since been extended until June 10th.
In order to qualify for this program, you must meet certain criteria. You must be 65 and older or if you are between 60 and 64 you must meet the high-risk criteria as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.) This program is for people in Ventura County who live independently and do not receive assistance from state or federal nutrition programs including food stamps. There is also an income limit of $74,940 for one person or $101,460 for a couple. The other key qualification requires that the person applying must state they have an inability to prepare or obtain meals from any other sources. The full qualifications can be found online at https://covid19.ca.gov/img/wp/great-plates-delivered-participants-faqs.pdf.
Ventura County is a leader in this program for the state. The Ventura County Area Agency on Aging (VCAAA) is our local administrator of this program. As I write this, there are already over 17 restaurants participating and that number is growing. In order to apply, you must call or visit their website to complete an application. You can call VCAAA at 805-477-7300 or apply online at https://www.vcaaa.org/.
Once you apply and are qualified, you will receive a phone call to confirm you are enrolled and let you know when your first delivery will take place. Most restaurants participating are providing your meals fresh but bundled so the deliveries are divided into 3 days a week. Each meal is packaged in a microwave safe container so you can keep them in your fridge and just heat up when ready. The menu is planned by the restaurant and it does not provide you with a choice of menu items.
Some may feel they are receiving more food than they usually eat in a day, and they may choose to freeze a few meals to save for later.
This is a short-lived program to meet an emergency right now in the community. Older adults are most at risk and need to stay home to remain safe from COVID-19 and the risks that come with infection. If you know of someone who may benefit from this program, then help them to apply. Not only are you assistinghelping them, but you are doing a service for the local restaurants who need the business.
Now more then ever our community must come together to help the most vulnerable. This program pairs together two group that really need our support, the restaurants and the older adults. Please do your part to help spread the word and help our small business owners and neighbors get through this crisis together.
Martha Shapiro can reached at Senior Concerns at 805-497-0189 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.