How San Diego's at-risk seniors can apply for daily meals amid COVID-19

Posted at 4:07 PM, May 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-14 19:07:18-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Qualified seniors in San Diego can now sign up for three free meals a day through the county's "Great Plates Delivered" program.

The program is a collaboration between San Diego County and local restaurants, helping older adults at risk of COVID-19 complications to avoid going to restaurants or groceries stores. Meal delivery is scheduled to run through June 10, but may be extended.

"Older adults are vital members of our community," said Kimberly Gallo, Aging and Independence Services director. "The Great Plates Delivered program is an excellent example of how government and businesses can innovate and work together to meet the needs of older adults during these difficult times."

The program also helps local restaurants to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic. The county will reimburse restaurants for the cost of food, labor, and incidentals through funds from FEMA, the state, and the county.

Those who qualify for the program must fall within a specific income range and include:

— People 65 and older who live alone or with one other older adult;
— County residents 60-64 who are high-risk as defined by the CDC, including:

  • People who tested positive for COVID-19,
  • People with an underlying medical condition that puts them at a higher risk of developing complications from COVID-19,
  • People who have been exposed to COVID-19 and do not require hospitalization, but are required to self-isolate or self-quarantine

Residents who receive help through other state or federal nutritional assistance programs, like CalFresh or Meals on Wheels, are not eligible.

Food vendors who will provide the meals were selected by the county based on factors like their ability to meet volume and nutritional standards, source local produce and meats, and prioritize local jobs and retention, according to the county.

Details about the program and how to apply can be found online here, or by calling 2-1-1 San Diego or the AIS Call Center at 800-339-4661.