NEW ORLEANS — Seniors are told to stay home since they are one of the most vulnerable groups for serious cases of COVID-19, but they still need to get food somehow.
Monday, a program officially kicked off to fill this gap. Hundred of seniors received several days worth of meals right on their front porch.
Volunteers picked up the meals at NOCHI, the New Orleans Culinary Hospitality Institute.
"I think it's really important to do my part because I'm able to," Todd Wackerman, one of 80 volunteers, said. "I was actually amazed at the turnout."
Hands On New Orleans partnered with the city for the Serve our Seniors meal delivery program. It's for those 60 and up or with medical or physical disabilities who are not part of Meals on Wheels or another program.
This allows these seniors to still get food without having to leave their home and risk exposure.
"I'm a teacher and schools are closed, so I wanted to find a way to be productive and give back a little bit," volunteer Alexis Kedo said.
The meals were donated from a disaster relief group out of Washington D.C. called World Central Kitchen. Each delivery is enough for several days.
"Home bound seniors who don't have their own means to go to the grocery store or pick up their basic necessities," Peyton Juneau, Operations Director of Hands On Volunteer Center, said when talking about the recipients.
So far they've served 400 homes, feeding 700 people. More seniors are asking for help so more volunteers will be needed.
"It certainly takes a village and we're trying to build those bridges between residents," Juneau said.
Volunteers drive their own cars and drop off the meals right on recipients doorstep. Each volunteer stops by several homes.
Seniors who need assistance like this can call 311.
Volunteers bring meals to seniors every Monday and Thursday. They must be healthy and it's preferred they have protective gear. To sign up or for more info click HERE.
If you can't or prefer not to volunteer in person, you can also participate in virtual volunteering that includes forming a relationship with seniors over the phone to check in on them and see what needs they have.