Governor Gavin Newsom has announced an exciting new plan in California to bring three nutritious meals a day to seniors in need, while providing meaningful work to those who have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The first program of its kind in the nation, ‘Great Plates Delivered’ will support struggling restaurants to rehire or retain staff, prepare the meals, and deliver them to those in need. Eligible seniors will be provided with 21 meals per week.
All of this will be accomplished through a partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and state and local governments. FEMA will cover 75% of the cost, with the state picking up most of the remaining tab. Restaurants will be reimbursed at rates of $16 for breakfasts, $17 for lunches and up to $28 for dinners.
“This partnership will allow … restaurants to start rehiring people or keep people currently employed and start preparing meals, three meals a day, seven days a week, and have those meals delivered to our seniors all throughout the state of California,” Gov. Newsom said.
The unprecedented effort to support seniors will also bring welcome relief, not only to struggling small business owners, but local governments that are facing major tax shortfalls that make it difficult for them to provide essential services to those in need.
The plan addresses all three of these problems at once, while keeping the mission of supporting the health of seniors who are at increased risk of infection from COVID-19 a top priority. Newsom said they want to “make sure what we are sending to our seniors is low sodium, not high fructose drinks or sugary drinks, and the like.”
The state will focus its resources on helping local growers. “We want to make sure we are focused on locally produced produce,” Newsom said. “We want to connect our farms to this effort. We want to focus our values throughout the state of California to get a lot of independent restaurants up and running again as well, and have a diversity of options.”
The program will be locally managed, in order to best provide for the needs of particular communities. Generally speaking, people over 65 and those from 60-64 defined as high-risk by the CDC are eligible. ‘High-risk’ includes those who are COVID-19 positive, have been exposed to the virus, or have an underlying condition. Individuals must live alone—or with one other program-eligible adult—and must not be receiving other forms of state or federal nutrition assistance.
If you or someone you know in California can benefit from this program, or if you would like to get involved in the relief efforts, more information can be found here, on the state’s website.
SHARE the Good News With Friends on Social Media…
This is just one of many positive stories and updates that are coming out of the COVID-19 news coverage this week. For more uplifting coverage on the outbreaks, click here.