by Catriona Carlisle, Executive Director, Meals on Wheels of Greenville
Meals on Wheels of Greenville continues to serve nearly 1,900 clients each week during the COVID-19 pandemic by implementing and practicing health and safety protocols for clients, volunteers, and staff. These protocols include a new drive-thru meal pickup service for delivery volunteers, limiting the number of volunteers in the office at each time, providing masks and gloves to all volunteers, and recommending proper hand cleaning in between meal deliveries. Additionally, volunteers are asked to follow new contactless delivery protocols, which include placing meal deliveries on a porch surface or door knob, ringing the doorbell or knocking to notify the client they have arrived, stepping back at least 6 feet and ensuring the client receives their meals. The unwavering support of the Greenville community has ensured that these protocols are followed and have kept many involved in our mission healthy and allows them to continue to serve. We are grateful for the loyalty to our mission!
Over the past 8 weeks, Meals on Wheels has seen a 28% increase in clients who need our service. The hot nutritious meal and personal interaction are important for all of our clients, but during the crisis we have found they need more. The population we serve are the most vulnerable for this virus and they are depending on us. Meals on Wheels has worked hard to expand services to those in need. A small way this has been accomplished is through the distribution of frozen emergency meals, snack supplement bags, personal care supplements, and hygiene kits to clients. Recently, Meals on Wheels of Greenville also announced a partnership with Senior Resources and BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, a program called the Emergency Senior Nutrition Program. This program allows Meals on Wheels to offer three meal distribution sites throughout Greenville County for senior citizen (60+) residents. Sites are offered each Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday in Pelzer, Fountain Inn, and Berea in an effort to serve as many in need as possible. Recipients are allowed to pickup once per week from any of these sites and receive 5 frozen meals, free of charge.
Eligibility requirements must be met to receive free meal services from this program. Recipients must be a senior citizen (60+), or a caregiver taking a meal to a senior citizen, and must reside in Greenville County. All recipients must show a state-issued ID and provide a name, address, and phone number at pick-up. Since senior citizens are at the forefront of the COVID-19 crisis, the partnership between Meals on Wheels of Greenville, Senior Resources, and BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina allows us to continue to provide and expand services to those that need it most.
Meals on Wheels of Greenville will continue to serve through the crisis and continues to adapt to the everchanging landscape of what that looks like. Follow COVID-19 updates and learn more about the Emergency Senior Nutrition program at www.MealsonWheelsGreenville.org.