The Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio is looking after senior citizens during the coronavirus outbreak. President and CEO Suzanne Burke said her agency has been planning for this since late January.
"Many seniors are afraid to go to the grocery or they're following instructions because they're a vulnerable population and are staying home, which is good," Burke said. "But that is complicating their ability to have food in the home, and we want to be able to do everything we can to satisfy that."
The agency is calling the more than 5,200 participants in its elderly services program and checking to see if they have additional needs. The goal is to complete those calls by the end of next week.
Burke said representatives will deliver 2,800 boxes of food by the end of this week, which equals 39,000 meals.
The agency had asked for donations to assist with food distribution, and people did respond to the request. Local companies did too, including Aetna, Duke Energy Foundation, United Way and TriHealth.
The next goal is to be able to provide personal products like toilet paper and cleaning supplies.
"We have a lot of seniors calling in for that," Burke said. "Those are not typically supplies that we provide through any of our programs, so we are seeking donations for that purpose."
The council is planning "fill the truck" events to gather donations for that effort.
If you'd like to donate you can call 513-721-1025. But the Council would prefer you visit their website, help4seniors.org, because of high call volumes right now.
The Council on Aging receives funding from the Hamilton County senior services tax levy. The last levy renewal and increase in November 2017 provides about $26 million a year for senior services.