Council on Aging (COA) and LaRosa’s Pizzerias partnered to warm the hearts and bellies of vulnerable seniors on Monday when more than 300 meals were delivered to older adults at four low-income apartment communities in Clinton County.
COA has received additional federal funding via the Ohio Department of Aging to expand meal service to seniors in need during this time. Due to those funds, COA has been able to provide spaghetti meals, and soon they will have delivered approximately 5,000 meals to seniors across the COA’s five-county service area.
The Clinton County delivery locations included Prairie View Apartments in Wilmington, Blanchester Friends Housing in Blanchester, Apple Tree Apartments in New Vienna, and Community Commons in Wilmington.
The meals included spaghetti with LaRosa’s sauce and meatball (to be heated by recipient), a salad, bread sticks and condiments.
“We are all experiencing the effects of stay-at-home orders and social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic, but seniors are feeling especially vulnerable and isolated right now,” said Council on Aging CEO Suzanne Burke. “Our hope is that the LaRosa’s meals would be a welcome change of pace for seniors in these buildings and a reminder that they have not been forgotten. The feedback we’ve received so far confirms this,” Burke said.
To ensure social distancing guidelines and protect the health, safety and privacy of residents in the buildings, the meals are delivered to an on-site coordinator at each building who then distributes the meals to residents.
The meals were picked up and delivered by Meals on Wheels of Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky, a contracted COA service provider.
COA has been working in other ways to meet the needs of seniors who have been impacted by COVID-19, many of whom have never needed assistance before, states a COA media release.
In Clinton County, COA has partnered with churches, the Emergency Management Agency (EMA), Clinton County commissioners, representatives from the Elderly Services Program provider network, and other volunteers to ensure Clinton County seniors receive the support they need.
In Clinton County, COA and its partners have provided emergency boxes of shelf-stable meals and personal care supplies. Through the EMA, COA launched a Code Red alert phone tree which has helped identify seniors in need. And, volunteers have placed phone calls to seniors to check on their well-being during the pandemic.
COA of Southwestern Ohio is a nonprofit organization. It is a state-designated Area Agency on Aging serving Clinton, Butler, Clermont, Hamilton and Warren Counties.
One call to COA links people to a wide variety of agencies, information and programs that serve older adults and people with disabilities, states the media release. The COA’s Clinton County Resource Center is located at 2333 Rombach Ave. in Wilmington. The phone number there is 937-449-0642.