By Ben Olson
The coronavirus has affected just about every aspect of daily life here in North Idaho, but one organization is holding strong. The Sandpoint Area Seniors, Inc., which has provided home-delivered meals for homebound seniors for decades, has not seen any interruptions to their delivery service from the coronavirus outbreak.
“Most of the drivers are cooperating and everything is going really good so far,” said Mary McGinnis, who has coordinated the program through the Sandpoint Senior Center for more than 20 years. “In fact, we added a few people. The last 7 days, we got 4 or 5 more.”
McGinnis said anywhere from 30 to 60 people take advantage of the home-delivered meal program on a daily basis. The volunteer drivers service Sandpoint and surrounding areas such as Kootenai, Priest River, Sagle and Samuels as well.
The meals are provided free of charge to any homebound senior over 60 years old, though they do ask for a suggested donation if patrons are able to contribute. The program is made possible partially through government funding, but most comes from fundraising and grants, as well as through the Area Agency in Coeur d’Alene.
Those interested in signing up for home-delivered meals should call McGinnis at the Sandpoint Senior Center at 208-263-6860. Those who qualify for home-delivered meals also include if someone is fresh from the hospital and can’t provide for themselves.
McGinnis said the meals sent out for delivery are the same as the regular meals they make at the Senior Center, but they are frozen so homebound seniors can pop them in the oven and enjoy a hot meal.
“When the drivers send the bags of meals out, they get 6 frozen meals and a hot meal for the day,” McGinnis said. “They also get a cold tray and milk.”
Along with home-delivered meals, the Sandpoint Senior Center continues providing Grab-n-Go meals to their regular clientele that normally dines at the center for lunch. Though the center has closed to help fight the spread of the coronavirus, McGinnis said pick-up options are available.
“We have a walk-up so they can pick up a meal, too,” McGinnis said.
Pickup options for regular clientele is between 12-12:30 p.m.
For more information, call the Sandpoint Senior Center at 208-263-6860.
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