Lending a helping hand to those who are vulnerable amid COVID-19

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Around the country and in the Hoosier State people are lending a helping hand to those at risk for contracting COVID-19.

Meals On Wheels is changing its protocols when delivering meals to the elderly and those with chronic diseases.

“I would encourage anyone that has family members, or friends or neighbors that are older or have a chronic disease to check in on them because this is a critical time,” said Meals on Wheels, Communications Manager, Brandi Sasore.

A critical time indeed as COVID-19 continues to spread stopping many services. But Meals On Wheels is putting measures in place so they won’t be halted.

“Meals on wheels delivers to homebound senor older adults and those with chronic diseases. So that can be diabetes, lung disease, cancer, etc, heart disease,” said Sasore.

They are currently asking clients if they will accept 10 frozen meals from UPS to be left at their doorstep. As opposed to the daily hot and cold meals that are delivered by a volunteer. They believe this will help limit the face-to-face contact so they can practice social distancing.

“We’re protecting our clients and we also need to protect our volunteers,” said Sasore.

If clients can’t carry the box of meals inside, then a volunteer will come to assist, taking the necessary precautions.

“What we’re asking them to do is wear new plastic or latex gloves with each delivery. They are supposed to knock and ring the doorbell, hang the meals on the door and leave,” said Sasore.

And also practicing social distance if they have to step inside. COVID-19 is also changing in-person wellness checks that are often performed by the volunteer.

“What we’re doing is calling our clients and doing our wellness checks over the phone,” said Sasore.

Sadly, that prevents the clients from having that interaction with a volunteer that they look forward too especially if they’re home alone and lonely.

They are also currently preparing shelf-stable pantry boxes that include organic products, low-sodiums foods, soups and more in case services are halted.

“We are working and are in constant communication with local and state health officials and the mayor’s office to make sure that we are considered among those essentials services to be able to continue to go out as long as possible,” said Sasore.

They are accepting additional volunteers to deliver meals and prepare pantry boxes. If interested you can e-mail them: info@mealsonwheelsindy.org.

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