Nassau County Council on Aging
Contact: Liz Dunn
Marketing & Communications Director
April 4, 2020
“Over the past week, senior requests for meals have doubled; with increased publicity of this program and protracted quarantine periods, the demand will continue to rise for a population already affected by food insecurity.”
Nassau County Council on Aging’s (NCCOA’s) “boots on the ground” effort continues as staff and volunteers deliver free meals to area seniors (age 60+). GA Foods, a current NCCOA supplier, delivered 5,550 frozen and shelf-stable meals to the Fernandina Beach Life Center and Hilliard Life Center, March 31. NCCOA volunteers and staff mobilized to unload, transfer and pack two freezers and a large pantry with the newly delivered meals. Both Life Centers, currently closed to the general public until further notice, are serving as Senior Crisis Response Centers and distribution points for Meals on Wheels delivery.
“The meals are dietitian-approved, balanced and nutritious…the shelf-stable meals can last up to six months at room temperature” said Janice Ancrum, NCCOA President & CEO. “Unfortunately, the cost of the meals was not anticipated in current-year budgeting. However, this will not prevent us from taking care of our seniors, one of the most vulnerable populations, hovering close to 25 percent of Nassau County.”
Adding to NCCOA’s growing financial need is the fact that when Life Center programs and services are not provided, funding is reduced. Over the past week, senior requests for meals have doubled; with increased publicity of this program and protracted quarantine periods, the demand will continue to rise for a population already affected by food insecurity. The Nassau County Board of County Commissioners has already responded with monetary support to purchase meals; the City of Fernandina Beach has also pledged support. Bank of America, Florida Blue and Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund are also supporting this effort.
“Many seniors are experiencing a very real fear with the anxiety created by COVID-19,” Ancrum said. “This virus can be damaging both physically and psychologically. Seniors feel more secure in the comfort of their own homes. However, the isolation, coupled with diminishing staples of life, is dangerous. Our “boots on the ground” effort responds to both – food and a connection to the outside world.”
Any Nassau County senior (age 60+) may request a week of FREE meals at a time. If you are interested, follow these simple steps:
1. Call NCCOA at 904-261-0701.
2. Tell our staff member you would like to request meals.
3. We will complete a simple intake form with this information:
c. Phone number
4. Your delivery will be scheduled.
If you are able to help Nassau County seniors, please contact Wallace Bennett, Development Director, 904-775-5481 or [email protected]. You may also visit our website at https://www.nassaucountycouncilonaging.org/donate/funding-help-needed/. Thank you.