SCRANTON, Pa. — For decades, Meals on Wheels of NEPA has been delivering meals Monday through Friday to the elderly, the sick, and homebound.
That's about 600 people in Lackawanna, Monroe and Wyoming, and Luzerne Counties.
However, the threat of COVID-19 has made the mission harder than ever.
The building in Scranton, where about 1,000 meals a day are made, is on lockdown.
"Extensive public health measures in place since February 22. We have been taking this incredibly seriously since the very beginning," said Kristen Kosin, executive director of Meals On Wheels of NEPA.
Kosin says coronavirus has made running the agency more costly.
Workers need to use more sanitizers, disinfectants, and other products. Volunteers have to go through more rigorous health screenings and self-isolate, that is, avoiding physical contact with the people they help and staying away from others when they're not working for Meals on Wheels.
"We've received wonderful financial support from Net Credit Union who are really a steward of our community and proactively said, 'We're in this together.' Others such as the Moses Taylor Foundation and other individuals. We could not do this without them," said Kosin.
The executive director said Meals on Wheels needs to keep going perhaps now more than ever, to check on those most vulnerable and to let them know they are not alone.
"For many of our clients, we are the only people they may see in a day, and as the mental and emotional toll of being socially isolated in a situation that already has high levels for anxiety, we're really concerned for the mental and social well-being of our clients."
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