INDIANAPOLIS — Meals on Wheels of Central Indiana on Thursday announced aggressive steps the group is taking to protect clinets and volunteers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Many of our clients are among those who are most vulnerable to COVID-19, and it's critical they receive meals to remain healthy," Barb Morris, CEO of Meals on Wheels of Central Indiana, said in a statement. "At the same time, our dedicated volunteers are on the front lines with our clients. It's imperative we are as vigilant as possible in protecting everyone involved."
Meals on Wheels is continuing to serve meals to both their clients in the greater Indianapolis area and those through the statewide program. For the next three weeks, or longer if deemed necessary, Meals on Wheels is taking the following action:
- Encourage clients to receive a weekly supply of frozen, medically-tailored meals via UPS rather than their regular delivery driver.
- Volunteers will hang meals on the doorknob in a new, single-use plastic bag. They will ring the doorbell and knock to alert the client their meal has been delivered and will immediately leave the to avoid unnecessary exposure.
- All clients will receive a box of non-perishable, shelf-stable food to ensure they can maintain their required caloric intake in the rare case of a total delivery disruption.
- Delivery drivers and volunteers will sanitize their hands and wear a new pair of protective gloves when making each delivery.
- Volunteers who may experience symptoms of COVID-19 or the flu should immediately cease deliveries and alert Meals on Wheels.
The agency said it is holding daily meetings with its leadership team as well as state and local officials to monitor new developments.
"We are grateful for the opportunity to serve our neighbors during this challenging time," Morris said. "With the support of our staff, volunteers, friends and clients, we will weather this storm together and continue to be there for the people we serve."
Meals on Wheels also said they are looking for volunteers to help put together pantry boxes. Anyone interested in volunteering should email the agency at firstname.lastname@example.org. The agency doesn't want volunteers to call so the phone lines can remain clear to address immediate client needs.