With the emergence of COVID-19 some of the federal and state rules regarding who qualifies for Meals on Wheels have been temporarily changed, and now, anyone over the age of 60 who is practicing social distancing can receive meals throughout Spectrum Generations’ service territory. Disabled adults living with someone receiving meals are also eligible temporarily.
Meals typically would go to older adults who struggle physically to obtain and prepare their own food, people who have chronic conditions, those recovering from medical procedures, and some who don't have their own transportation, according to Spectrum Generations, in a news release. Prior to COVID-19, Spectrum Generations was serving 800 people on the program, including those receiving food through two subcontractors. Prior to the pandemic, the organization had seen such a high need that there was also a waitlist nearing 300 people.
Through the generous increased funding from federal and state governments, as well as support from individual donors, grants from Harvard Pilgrim, United Way of Kennebec Valley, Maine Community Foundation, and Central Maine Power, the waitlist has been cleared and Spectrum Generations can now serve even more people.
Persons over the age of 60, living in Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc, Somerset, and Waldo Counties, or the towns of Brunswick and Harpswell, who wish to receive Meals on Wheels, should call 1.800.639.1553, weekdays, between 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., to speak with a staff member.
The Spectrum Generations’ Meals on Wheels program is deemed an essential service, and staff who usually have duties in other departments now closed have been redeployed to help support the nutrition program, according to Spectrum.
Volunteers are essential as well – with a current roster of about 100 people, that need will also increase as demand for Meals on Wheels increases and delivery routes are added. If you are interested in volunteering, contact Jessica Bucklin at 620-1684. All volunteers will be screened and begin a background check process, but will be provided with appropriate PPE for their role, whether it be preparing, packing, or delivering Meals on Wheels.