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Promising Practices:
Scaling Food Delivery for Seniors During COVID-19 Crisis

 

In March 2020, as the state of California issued stay at home orders in response to the Coronavirus crisis, the California Department of Aging (CDA) and the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) recognized the unprecedented need to address the food security implications for older adults sheltering in place. They formed a COVID-19 CBO Senior Food Delivery Local Operations Work Group with representatives from a diverse set of community based organizations (CBOs) to identify how local CBOs could coordinate and get support for food delivery, both grocery and meal, especially for aging and at risk adults, and how the state departments could best and quickly support that critical work.

 

Promising Practices: Scaling Delivery and No Contact Models for Food Assistance to Older Adults During the COVID-19 Crisis >> Read the report here.

This report is a product of the COVID-19 CBO Senior Food Delivery Local Operations Work Group. It is a repository of promising practices and helpful resources to provide safe food delivery and no contact distribution models to low income older adults during the crisis. It includes examples of models being rolled out throughout the state, specific case studies, and resources to support community based organizations and public entities to quickly, safely, and effectively scale services to meet the need.

The first section includes resources and ideas to support scaled delivery and drive-thru food distribution to older adults:

  • Delivery Infrastructure Resources: vehicles, drivers, local delivery platform networks, routing software
  • Scaling Food Production Resources & Ideas: kitchens, volunteers/human resources
  • COVID-19-Related Protocols & Practices: social distancing practices, safe food handling, training, driver/client instructions
  • Program Design & Funding Resources: example intake/client communication materials, state guidance, funding information, emergency resource mechanisms
  • Data Sources and Tools to Assess Gaps & Plan for Future Needs: State data sources, population estimates of older adults needing food assistance and delivery, and templates for gap analyses.
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    The second section includes program models and case studies of home delivery, drive-thru distributions, and pick-up models currently being implemented in California for both meal and grocery programs for older adults.

     

    COVID-19 Community Based Food Assistance to Older Adults: Lessons Learned from the First Months of Operations >> Read the report here. 

    This document serves to highlight the key lessons that have been learned in the first several months of food assistance response for older adults during the COVID-19 crisis. The work group’s consultant interviewed more than twenty representatives from Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs), Food Banks, Meals on Wheels providers, information and assistance providers, and the statewide associations representing those groups in order to understand what helped or hindered disaster food response for older adults. Lessons include topics related to:

    • Policy flexibilities
    • Operations
    • Information & referral networks
    • Program development and implementation
    • Disaster funding streams
    • Disaster planning and coordination
    • Ongoing coordination of food assistance services

     

    As Coronavirus cases continue to rise throughout the state, older adults and others at high risk will continue to need to shelter in place. These lessons can support state departments, AAAs, and CBOs to offer the best possible support to food insecure vulnerable populations.

     

    Contact Andrew Cheyne for questions: andrew@cafoodbanks.org