Los Angeles will double the size of its senior meal program to assist thousands of home-bound seniors during the coronavirus pandemic starting Thursday.
The program is called the Emergency Senior Meals Response, which has already started to deliver food to seniors, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Wednesday.
"All of our work is focused on saving lives, but we know that seniors have been particularly hard hit by this crisis," the mayor said. "Every day under normal circumstances, our Department of Aging provides meals to our low-income, older adults across the city."
Garcetti said there are about 5,000 seniors who are enrolled in food programs throughout the city, but more people have contacted the mayor's office since the Safer at Home orders were enacted. The program is expected to serve more than 12,000 seniors starting Thursday, providing program participants with 10 meals a week.
Access Services, which typically provides rides for seniors, will assist with the delivery of the meals, along with other service providers.
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Between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily, beginning Thursday, seniors can join the emergency program by calling 213-263-5226. The program is available to people who are 60 and older.
Meanwhile, Garcetti also said he sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security, urging the agency to keep protections in place and automatically renew Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals employment documents that expire this year.
"In the midst of a pandemic, we can't let anyone's fear about immigration policies or anything else let them be afraid to seek medical care," Garcetti said.
The mayor said about 82,000 DACA recipients live within the county of Los Angeles.
Garcetti also said the city is offering free assistance to tax preparation. Although Tax Day is usually April 15, the IRS moved the deadline to July 15 due to the pandemic. Residents interested in receiving tax help can sign up at lamayor.org/freetaxprep.