SIDNEY – The Ohio Department of Aging has awarded Nutrition Services of Shelby County additional funding for a new, short-term program to provide meals for older adults affected by the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency. The Staying Healthy program engages area agencies on aging and local, small-business restaurants to provide meals to seniors in their communities.
“By investing in locally owned and operated restaurants, we can meet increased demand for older adults who need meal support as they continue to shelter from the virus,” said Ursel J. McElroy, director of the Ohio Department of Aging. “We recognize Nutrition Services of Shelby County as a local leader who can bring together multiple sectors to protect vulnerable older adults.”
“We will use this funding to engage with community partners to serve our neighbors who are most in need,” said Darlene Prater, Nutrition Services coordinator. “It’s a win-win-win. Our seniors, our local businesses, and their employees all ultimately benefit from this innovative approach. We have partnered with Clancy’s Restaurant to provide lunch for this program.”
Participating restaurants must have 50 or fewer employees, be able to produce meals that meet industry-standard nutritional guidelines, and be able to provide meals in a safe manner. Meals will be hot and are available for lunch Monday through Friday during Clancy’s scheduled senior lunch hours from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Drive-thru and carry-out can be utilized.
Nutrition Services of Shelby County will direct the program locally with a focus on serving seniors with the greatest social and economic needs, such as those with low incomes, who live in rural areas, with severe disabilities, with limited English-speaking ability, or with Alzheimer’s disease or related disorders.
Funding for Staying Healthy is provided by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The Staying Healthy Program is a companion initiative to the Staying Connected daily phone check-in service the Ohio Department of Aging launched in May.
Nutrition Services of Shelby County has been providing meals to the seniors of Shelby County since 1996. Assessment and registration will be required and will be completed via phone. Call 937-492-6900 and ask for Nutrition Services for registration or more information about the program.
For more information on Ohio’s response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH. More information is also available for Shelby County at the health department website, visit shelbycountyhealthdept.org.