Meals On Wheels, other aid organizations see increased need during pandemic

Senior citizens at a high risk from COVID-19 are now facing another challenge - food.

"We've definitely seen (an increased) need and capacity for seniors needing food delivery who are homebound," said Anna McCormick.

The growing need for food caused by a number of factors.

"Since seniors are the most vulnerable population and being told to stay home for their safety, we've seen a definite increase related to that," she said. "Also fear, a lot of seniors are afraid to leave their home, and loss of jobs, loss of income."

McCormick is with the Area Agency on Aging 1B, which serves about 760,000 older adults in SE Michigan.

From April through September of 2020,  Meals On Wheels served 37,062 more meals when compared to the same time last year.

"Right now the only waitlist that we've had that goes on and off is in Macomb County and they're doing a great job to reduce that waitlist," said McCormick. 

The need for more meal distribution for seniors is also being felt by other organizations across metro Detroit.

The National Council of Jewish Women Michigan is a kosher Meals on Wheels vendor, and since the beginning of this pandemic has doubled the number of meals it delivers 

"We went from a clientele from about 75 to 80 people to 155 at our peak," said Amy Cutler, the organization's president.

But Culter says because of generous donors they've been able to meet the extra demand.

"I think it's very important that at this time we pull together as a community and practically family, to help everyone that we can," she said.

That's why the Area Agency on Aging 1-B is calling on the community to support its efforts through donations to help reduce the pain of this pandemic. 

"We will work to make seniors are receiving food and they can also work directly with us - all of our contractors are in need of contractors willing to deliver the food," McCormick said. "So anyway they want to help is great."

How you can help:

Area Agency on Aging 1B,

National Council of Jewish Women Michigan

Meals on Wheels Detroit Area Agency on Aging