Free Meals Delivered For Seniors Also Supports Local Businesses
San Bernardino County Department of Aging and Adult Services is participating in the “Great Plates Delivered for Seniors” meal delivery program. The program provides three free nutritious meals per day, delivered to seniors within San Bernardino County who qualify for the program. It also uses local restaurants, food providers, and delivery persons who are paid to prepare and deliver meals to seniors in their community.
The “Great Plates Delivered for Seniors” program was launched on April 24, 2020, when Governor Gavin Newsom announced its launch, which was the first such program to be launched in the nation. The program is designed to support adults who are 65 and older and adults 60-64 who are at high-risk from COVID-19. The program encourages seniors to stay at home and stay healthy by having three nutritious meals per day delivered to seniors enrolled in the program. In each community, seniors are identified and enrolled in the program, if qualified. All meals will be provided free of charge, and each senior is allowed a maximum of three meals per day. The program is currently running through May 10, 2020, which is the timeframe approved by FEMA. However, the state intends to request an extension.
According to information provided by the Department of Aging and Adult Services, seniors must qualify for enrollment. Eligible seniors are those who are 65 or older, and individuals 60-64 who are at high-risk. High-risk includes individual who are COVID-19 positive, or individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19, or individuals with an underlying condition.
Additionally, seniors must live alone or with one other adult who is eligible for the program; must not be currently receiving assistance from another state or federal nutrition assistance program; must earn no more than 600% of the federal poverty limit; and must “affirm an inability to prepare or obtain meals.”
Seniors can enroll in the program by calling 888-743-1485 or by visiting the San Bernardino County Department of Aging and Adult Services website HERE.
The program also provides “essential economic stimulus” to local businesses by paying these businesses to prepare and deliver meals to seniors in their community. Food providers are selected to participate based primarily on their ability to meet volume and nutritional standards. They must not be currently participating in a state or federal meals service program.