As holiday seasons approach, demand for food items hits new report | Information

As they face soaring need for meals, organizers of regional senior diet courses say they’re dedicated to assembly the need to have and earning the holiday seasons exclusive — even if socially distanced — for people who rely on them.

Instead of its standard songs-filled Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s gatherings within a festive eating corridor, Palo Alto’s La Comida is distributing freshly organized, boxed meals from an out of doors table.

Recipients have to stand in line for the every day takeout distribution, but specific menus — which includes brisket, latkes and turkey — will be offered for the vacations. Volunteer masked musicians Jena Rauti and Gary Breitbard usually quit by to liven up the scene with qualifications tunes.

“Demand from customers (for the warm foods) has absent up substantially” because the COVID-19 pandemic began, Invoice Blodgett, La Comida board co-president and longtime volunteer, reported. The company currently is serving as numerous as 250 meals for each working day at two places, up from about 160 per working day a calendar year back. The 390 meals served last month for Thanksgiving were a solitary-working day history in the agency’s 48-yr record, Blodgett reported.

Extra than 1,200 homebound seniors get meals delivered to their doorsteps several days per 7 days by Menlo Park-based mostly Peninsula Volunteers, Inc., which operates Foods on Wheels for substantially of San Mateo County, like East Palo Alto and Menlo Park.

The average amount of foods delivered per month jumped from 13,837 to 15,450 from final year’s third quarter to this year’s, the company stated.

Turkey with all the trimmings is on the Xmas menu. Peninsula Volunteers is also searching for donations of compact gifts to put inside the offers with the meals.

“We’ve experienced to get artistic on our programming,” Peninsula Volunteers CEO Peter Olson reported.

To decrease customer publicity, Meals on Wheels will come only 3 days for every week — with various foods — as an alternative of the typical five days. Staff members and volunteers need to disinfect arms just before and immediately after each and every residence delivery.

“We make wellness calls on days consumers do not get a meal supply to assess each individual client’s very well-being on a frequent foundation whilst also serving to to minimize their feelings of isolation and to give supplemental methods the place desired,” Rebecca Matteson Nelsonsaid Peninsula Volunteers enhancement director, reported.

Peninsula Volunteers, which also operates the Little Residence senior heart, the grownup-working day plan Rosener Dwelling and senior transportation solutions, has considerably altered its other packages in reaction to the pandemic.

Rosener Property, which serves adults with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia, and Little Household have shut their doorways to the community and are offering courses by Zoom. The company carries on to present transportation solutions for medical, dental and grocery visits.

Olson stated information from the 2010 Census indicates “there are an believed 16,000 seniors in San Mateo County struggling from foodstuff insecurity.

“We are serving 1,200 persons (with a waiting list of 266) and we might like to serve additional, but fundraising is crucial for any form of expansion,” he said. “It usually takes guidance from the local community.”

Whilst some of the volunteer motorists for Foods on Wheels had to withdraw due to the fact of the pandemic, the company has “received an outpouring of neighborhood assistance and interest from new volunteers,” Nelson stated.

It truly is a diverse tale at La Comida in Palo Alto. A lack of volunteers “has been just one of our finest issues throughout the pandemic,” Blodgett said. “Most of our volunteers are seniors, so understandably several are sheltering at dwelling and not volunteering.

“We surely want a lot more volunteers Monday via Friday from 10:30 a.m. ’til 12:30. We need to have volunteers yr-round, not just at the holiday seasons.”

More funding from Santa Clara County included additional La Comida meals from July as a result of October, Blodgett stated. “We are hopeful that there will be more county funding to include the increased food volume by means of the relaxation of the calendar year but we will have to wait and see on that. In any circumstance La Comida is fully commited to absolutely conference the demand from customers for senior foods throughout the pandemic interval,” he said.

For a lot more information and facts on La Comida, go to or electronic mail [email protected]

For more data about Peninsula Volunteers, go to

Discover comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula’s reaction to the new coronavirus by Palo Alto On the web, the Mountain Check out Voice and the Almanac right here.