We have received funding from various sources to help us through these trying times. First, we received a generous grant from the Margaret W. Wong Fund of The Cleveland Foundation. We are using these funds to purchase food from local restaurants for delivery one day per week to our subscribers. We also have used these funds to purchase items to include in our COVID Care Packages for distribution to our subscribers. We have also received N95 masks from The Cleveland Foundation for use by our volunteers when we restart our food service at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Cleveland.
We also received a grant from Meals on Wheels America. This grant will allow us to restock our pantry with non perishables food items, fill the freezer with frozen meals, buy catering and packaging supplies including trays for meal prep and purchase new coolers along with thermal bags for delivery to clients. Part of the funds will be used to increase communication with our clients and their emergency contacts by the creation of a new user friendly website. This type of technology format will allow individuals as well as our volunteers and the general public/ donors to connect with our organization, view our newsletters, create a user experience for donations and establish online payment options.
Last, we received individual donations from numerous Friends of Meals on Wheels in response to our COVID-19 Emergency Appeal in March. These donations helped us purchase food for meals while we were making decisions about how to help our subscribers during the shutdown. You can view a full list of 2020 donors here.
We and our subscribers appreciate the generosity of the Margaret W. Wong Fund of The Cleveland Foundation, Meals on Wheels America, and YOU!
We Respond to COVID-19
Thank You Picnic Hill Market
We have been working with Picnic Hill Market, a new market in Shaker Heights, to provide food for our subscribers during this period of the pandemic. Picnic Hill Market, located at Fairmount Circle, is a gourmet market and café that opened its doors in January 2020. After just two months, when Governor DeWine shut down all restaurants, the owners Michael Miller and Shawn Brown decided to change course and provide carryout meal services. MOW contacted the owners and collaborated with them to establish a system of preparing meals for our clients that our volunteers can deliver to our subscribers.
One day each week, MOW is delivering multiple nutritious meals to help our subscribers stay healthy and independent. For the time being, we are using the generous donations we have received to pay for the meals. We will return to our subscription procedure soon, as we hope to get back to providing five meals a week. In the meantime, this system has allowed MOW to deliver food to our subscribers without our volunteers being directly involved in the food preparation.
In the photos below you can see one day of our Picnic Hill Market selections: meatloaf, mashed potatoes and green beans, chicken Vesuvio, and bread pudding with a whiskey cream sauce.
Our Meals on Wheels chapter is doing our best to deal with the effects of this Coronavirus pandemic and Ohio’s “Shelter in Place” order from Governor DeWine. Many of our subscribers are in the highest-risk demographic for the virus, as are many of our volunteers. In addition, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Cleveland — the church where we assemble our meals — is closed for the foreseeable future. Although the church offered to let us continue to use the kitchen, we were very concerned that we would not be able to adequately clean and sanitize the kitchen for safe food assembly in this time of high risk. As a result, we suspended our regular deliveries as of March 18, 2020.
The L.A. Times published an article on March 31, 2020, suggesting ways people can support seniors:
What have we done? Our volunteers have reached out to all subscribers on a weekly basis in order to assess individual needs and make sure each person has a sufficient supply of food (Thank You Picnic Hill Market!) and we are providing COVID Care Packages to all subscribers which include non-perishable food and personal items (see below). We will continue to keep in touch with our subscribers throughout the summer. We are hopeful that we will be able to resume service this summer; however, no date has been set and many new procedures will need to be put into place before we can do so.
COVID-19 CARE PACKAGES
Laura Rowan and Kerianne Hearns have combined their talents to fill COVID Care Packages for our subscribers. These are similar to the “Snow Bags” we give our subscribers in the winter to help them when we can’t deliver food. The bags are filled with non-perishable food and toiletries including soaps, Kleenex and wipes. We are delivering one bag to each subscriber each month. Our subscribers appreciate receiving these bags and the little surprises contained in them. Thank you Laura and Kerianne!
Thank You to Our Donors
Thank You Picnic Hill Market