ATHENS, Ga. - Masks on the face and gloves on the hands are a common sight among grocery shoppers. Stores have limited the number of shoppers at one time. And just yesterday, the White House Coronavirus Task Force recommended avoiding grocery stores over the next two weeks.
So, what about the seniors? People at one Athens nonprofit have dedicated themselves to bridging the gap.
“No senior can be forgotten.”
That’s the approach the Athens Community Council on Aging took when it formed in 1967 and it’s the approach they will continue to take during a pandemic.
“We made a commitment to our staff, our volunteers and most importantly to the seniors in our community that no senior would be left behind,” said Eve Anthony, ACCA's CEO and president.
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ACCA’s Meals on Wheels program delivers 68,000 meals annually to seniors in Clarke County and Barrow County. The council relies on volunteers, who are in many cases seniors themselves, on average 70 years old.
“We were concerned that many of them would choose to stay home, but that hasn’t happened. They’re just as committed as ever to continue to get those meals out to the community,” Anthony said.
The need is great.
ACCA receives as many as 20 calls a day from seniors in need. Since the nonprofit closed most of its programs, it has focused on food and basic needs. In just three weeks, it has added 500 seniors to its Meals on Wheels program.
Marion Coleman (Athens Community Council on Aging)
Volunteers deliver commodity bags with enough groceries to make five homemade meals and five frozen meals.
“It’s a blessing, and it’s very necessary. I don’t know what we would do without organizations that help us,” said Marion Coleman, who has gone to ACCA’s senior center for 12 years.
She says she doesn’t know what she would do without their help.
“I really appreciate the ones that are out there putting their life on the line to help people,” Coleman said.
ACCA welcomes new volunteers and seniors who need help. For more information, you can call 706-549-4850 or email at email@example.com.
Best prevention measures:
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least twenty seconds.
- If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
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