Icy Roads Postpone Meal Deliveries to Kentucky Seniors
This week’s winter weather is keeping those who deliver meals to Kentucky’s senior citizens off the roads.
But hunger doesn’t take a break during snow storms.
The COVID-19 pandemic has kept Kentucky’s elderly residents away from the meals and social connections at area senior centers.
The isolation required to avoid the virus has now been combined with the suspension of delivered meals when roads are too icy for drivers.
Jennifer Williams is Director for Aging and Social Services for the Owensboro-based Green River Area Development District. She oversees the Senior Home Delivered Meals Program for a seven-county region.
Williams said senior citizens depend on the Monday through Friday deliveries.
“We deliver about 1,400 meals a day and those have increased dramatically with the pandemic," said Williams. "Not all of those are delivered to the home. Some of the seniors, those who are able, come to the senior center and pick those up at kind of a drive-through set-up.”
There are phone calls to make sure those at home are OK when meals are not delivered.
Williams said the meals program used to have a waiting list of about 300 senior citizens.
“If there is any silver lining in this crazy COVID pandemic, it is that the money has been put there to make sure that the seniors are served," said Williams. "So right now we do not have a waiting list.”
Williams said the meal program prepares in advance for days when roads are not safe. Seniors in the program who are homebound got ten days of emergency meals in January.
That includes shelf-stable food, like soup, tuna and other items that can be easily prepared to get Kentuckians 60 and older, especially the homebound elderly, through the cold, icy days of winter.