In the past year alone, the Lincoln County Council on Aging (LCCOA) has served 75,000 meals, of which 46,000 were delivered to those that were home-bound, and more than 25,000 were unpaid.
“We do not turn anyone away for a meal; regardless of age or ability to pay,” Lindsey Kelley, public relations officer for LCCOA, said. “Our meal-delivery vehicles travel across 642 square miles, 5-days a week.”
With the recent pandemic taking its toll on everyday life the program has fallen on hard times.
“Right now the center is closed to the public,” Janet Carver, the organizer of the program, said. “We’re not allowing anybody in, so that’s definitely affecting us as far as we have a lot of activities that we provide for our seniors on a daily basis, like exercise, card games, bingo and things like that to keep them active and social.”
Carver said that even deliveries to their homebound clients have been stopped because “a lot of clients’ immune systems are compromised.”
LCCOA sent out a call for help on their facebook page asking for volunteers to assist with deliveries to their homebound seniors and the response they received blew them away.
“We put word out to churches and our community here that we needed volunteer drivers and the overwhelming response has been phenomenal,” Carver said. “People have just been really stepping up and delivering meals for us so that we can still provide a nutritional meal on a daily basis for our seniors that cannot get out and that are also compromised right now due to age.”
With the surge of volunteers from the community LCCOA should be able to continue providing seniors with meals safely throughout the remaining duration of this pandemic.
“I am just amazed and grateful beyond words of how awesome these people have been,” Carver said.