Local Meals on Wheels Starving for Support during COVID-19 Pandemic
Westwood – Meals on Wheels North Jersey has been providing nutritious meals to homebound senior citizens and individuals with disabilities since 1972. Prior to the Coronavirus outbreak, their clients received two fresh meals and a daily well check by a friendly volunteer each weekday. The increase in those affected by the virus over the last few weeks however, has required that they completely reinvent how they deliver meals.
Having their two local kitchens housed in health care facilities, meant restricted access at first and then finally a need to pull out of those locations completely due to increased safety precautions. They initially delivered an additional supply of their “blizzard boxes” to their clients which contain 5 days-worth of shelf stable meals. Ultimately though, they transitioned to providing 5 days-worth of frozen meals in a once per week delivery so as to limit exposure of their clients and volunteers.
“Reinventing how we service our clients has been tough, but we are resilient and resourceful”, said Jeanne Martin, executive director for Meals on Wheels North Jersey, “Our goal remains to keep our clients fed and to connect them to as many resources as we can. We have also started a phone buddy program that keeps our volunteers and our clients together and in touch through regular phone calls.”
“The best way to help support our seniors right now is through monetary donations to the program,” said Martin. “The cost to pivot the program to frozen meals has put an unforeseen financial burden on the organization and support from the community would be greatly appreciated.” She adds, “It is very important that you check in with your elderly neighbors to see how they are doing.”
You can donate to Meals on Wheels North Jersey via their website at mealsonwheelsnorthjersey.org or by mailing a donation to Meals on Wheels North Jersey, 100 Madison Avenue, Suite 3, Westwood, NJ 07675. The can be reached by phone at 201-358-0050 for more information.