Essential services for vulnerable populations already affected by COVID-19

KMBZ News Staff
March 16, 2020 - 8:15 am
Meal delivery service for senior citizen

Highwaystarz-Photography / Getty Images

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Self-isolation won't be easy for anybody. But for senior citizens who rely on volunteer-based organizations to fulfill their daily needs, self-isolation could be a real challenge.

Organizations that serve the sick and elderly, the most vulnerable among us, like Meals on Wheels and the Community Assistance Council are aware of that fact, and are making plans to continue their services as the world fights off its worst pandemic in decades.

Rachel Casey is the Executive Director of the Community Assistance Council. She told KMBZ the recommendation of social distancing from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been the guiding light in all their decision making. 

"The plan that we're proposing, and intend to implement starting Monday, will be essentially to minimize contact between volunteers and clients," Casey explained. 

Casey said they will keep appointments with clients at their food pantry, but will not allow them to come in for assisted shopping. Volunteers are bagging up groceries and other essentials and delivering them to their cars. Social distancing will be key for Meals on Wheels volunteers as well.

Officials are facing another big problem, too: a large portion of CAC's volunteer force is over the age of 65.

"One thing that we're very aware of is that most of our volunteers are older people," Casey said. 

CAC is making preparations to make some adjustments in order for their vital operations to continue.

They're ready to get creative to bring in new volunteers, including working with area school districts to offer students an opportunity to give back to the community while they're barred from school as the coronavirus continues to spread. 

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