Old Colony Elder Services, a nonprofit agency serving older adults and individuals with disabilities throughout Plymouth County and Avon, Stoughton and Easton, has provided groceries to 2,000 Meals on Wheels consumers in their service area.
As a local Meals on Wheels affiliate, OCES was the recipient of a $75,000 donation to Meals on Wheels of America, made by the Medtronic Foundation. With this funding, OCES was able to spearhead an innovative “Grocery Bag” project. OCES provided a week’s worth of groceries, or the equivalent of 15 meals (packed into a reusable grocery bag) to every one of their Meals on Wheels consumers during the week of Aug. 10-14.
“We are incredibly grateful to the Medtronic Foundation for their generous donation which helps address one of the major impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic – food insecurity – among the older adult population in communities that we serve,” said Nicole Long, CEO of OCES.
The overall goal of OCES’ grocery bag project is to increase food security while reducing older consumers’ short-term need to grocery shop. In collaboration with OCES, Stop & Shop’s eCommerce facility in Brockton sourced, assembled and delivered the grocery bags to OCES’ congregate meal sites. OCES volunteers then picked up the grocery bags from the meal sites and delivered them to consumers’ homes with their ongoing Meals on Wheels deliveries.
Each grocery bag was packed with a wide variety of shelf-stable, nutrient-dense foods, such as pasta, tomato sauce, peanut butter, unsalted crackers, tuna fish, breakfast bars, oatmeal, raisins, applesauce, brown rice and more. One recipient commented that the unexpected surprise “…was the best gift bag of groceries that I had ever received and everything in it is something I would eat and use”.
“We’d like to thank our partner, Stop & Shop, for supplying the food, assembling the bags and delivering them to our meal sites,” said Long. “Their essential support contributed to the overall success of our Grocery Bag project in further meeting the nutrition needs of our most vulnerable residents during this challenging time.”
All of OCES’ programs – from Nutrition and Home Care to Protective Services – remain in place and are operating during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information or services from OCES, contact their Information and Referral Department at 508-584-1561. Visit http://www.foundation.