Los Angeles County

LA County Joins State COVID-19 Program to Deliver Meals to Homebound Seniors

"Great Plates Delivered" will enable three meals a day to be delivered to those who qualify.

Asparagus and packaged food items are placed in a cardboard box.

The County of Los Angeles announced Friday it has joined the state's initiative to offer restaurants the opportunity to cook meals to be delivered to people older than 60 who are homebound during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through the initiative, titled "Great Plates Delivered," the county's Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services and the Office of Emergency Management will enable three meals a day to be delivered to those who qualify.

"Since the inception of this pandemic, our elderly population has been the most vulnerable and disproportionately impacted community by COVID- 19," said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. "This program will not only allow seniors to get the nutrition they need while at home, but will provide employment opportunities for union workers who need it the most."

The county said the program will help stimulate the economy by bringing employees back to work from the restaurant, hospitality and transportation industries.

Individual participants may apply to the "Great Plates Delivered" initiative by calling 2-1-1. To be eligible for participation, individuals must meet requirements that include age, inability to prepare or obtain meals and not currently be receiving assistance from other state or federal nutrition-assistance programs.

Restaurants interested in participating in the program may fill out an interest form here.

Food providers will be selected based on factors that include their ability to meet volume and nutritional standards, and how they can prioritize local jobs, worker retention, worker health and safety and standards of equity.

The county's program will work with Unite Here Local 11's Hospitality Training Academy.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will cover 75% of the costs of the meals, with the state contributing a majority of the remaining cost, Gov. Gavin Newsom said. Restaurants would be reimbursed at rates of $16 for breakfasts, $17 for lunches and up to $28 for dinners, Newsom said on April 24, calling the program the first of its kind in the nation.

According to FEMA, the program will run until June 10, but the county said it is anticipated that the state will seek two additional 30-day extensions. If approved, it would extend "Great Plates Delivered" to as late as Aug. 10.

The county is finalizing additional criteria which will be posted in the days ahead here.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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