Unique program boosts food requests by NY seniors

Home-delivered meals for seniors just got a big upgrade. In Rochester, NY, adults 60 and older who could not travel to get food during the pandemic are able to order free meals from selected restaurants in the city. Enrollment and delivery was coordinated through Finger Lakes 211. The program was first available during August and September, 2020, but was so popular it returned in January 2021 with even more restaurants participating. The program’s impact is easily seen by tracking requests to 211 for home-delivered meals. The chart on the right shows requests for home-delivered meals among those age 60+ in Monroe County, NY from January 1, 2020 to January 26, 2021. The chart on the left shows requests from callers 59 and younger for same period. In both age groups, there was a spike in requests in the early weeks of the pandemic during March and April 2020. But the later spikes only occur among those 60+, and coincide with the program dates. Data used in these analyses came from 211 Counts, a daily tracking system of community needs available in 38 states. Analyses were limited to requests linked with demographic data.

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