CES for Seniors during Covid-19

Before COVID-19, seniors were the fastest growing group of visitors to Minnesota’s food shelves. Many seniors experienced significant barriers to accessing the hunger relief system (i.e. transportation, mobility, health, etc.). The COVID-19 public health emergency has further exacerbated these issues. Seniors have been encouraged to self-isolate at home to minimize their risk of contracting COVID-19, thus becoming more isolated and in need. 
Enter Serving our Seniors Ambassadors. 
The goal of this initiative is to bring healthy groceries to seniors and to facilitate connections and companionship between participants and volunteers. Through SoS Ambassadors, CES will find volunteers who will be paired with an isolated and homebound senior in areas of South Minneapolis. Each month the SoS volunteer will: 
• make regular wellness phone call(s) to their senior 
• “shop” in the CES warehouse and pack the senior’s grocery order (being mindful of cultural and dietary preferences) 
• deliver healthy and nutritious groceries to low-income seniors to meet their hunger needs 
• engage creatively and safely with clients, decreasing isolation during COVID-19 via phone calls, socially distanced in-person visits, and helping unpack and put away their food if needed, all while maintaining CDC guidelines.
Rhonda, an SoS Ambassador, stated, “This is a great, impressive program and I am looking forward to getting to know each client better.”
February 2021
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