The Kokomo Senior Citizens Center, with the help of the city bus system, has been delivering Area 5 meals to seniors during the COVID-19 shutdown.
Normally, these meals are offered in return for a freewill donation to residents 60 and older at the center, 721 W Superior St., Monday through Friday, but with government restrictions closing the facility, staff jumped into action to make sure those who needed the meals still got them.
“What we started out doing when this all first started was a drive-thru service because we were technically closed, and they don’t want people to do a whole lot of contact. I found out who were the ones that have lunches that were willing to come get them, and I would run it outside to them and check them off the list. And so that’s how that happened,” said Mendi Snow of the Senior Citizen Center.
As the closures continued and more cases of COVID-19 were being reported, Snow said it became clear that at-risk residents should be staying home entirely.
In light of this realization, several city officials, including Kokomo Mayor Tyler Moore, brainstormed the concept of using the Spirit of Kokomo buses to deliver meals so that vulnerable residents could stay at home and still get the services they depended on.
The availability of the meal delivery has been made known largely by word of mouth and calls to the Senior Citizens Center.
“It started from like 12 initially getting those kinds of services. It’s kind of exploded from there. We have gotten up to about 50 or 60,” said Snow.
The meals are being delivered daily Monday through Friday at no charge to the recipients. Snow added that relatives of area seniors have called to inquire about meal delivery for their loved ones, some from out of state.
Gov. Eric Holcomb announced a plan last week to reopen Indiana in five stages, and the plan urges the 65-and-older population to remain at home as much as possible until later this summer. There has been no end date given for the meal deliveries, but Snow said that it was likely that the service will be continued to be provided until it is safe for senior residents to return to the center.