Meals on Wheels, managed by Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley and North Shore (ESMV) and based out of the Amesbury Senior Community Center normally delivers meals 5 days / week to homebound elders (60+) in Amesbury and Merrimac, about 80 people. When most programs closed during the pandemic, this program remained intact.
"So many people expressed their gratitude for this program," said Doreen Arnfield, Director of the Council on Aging in Amesbury. "And it's not just about the food. Having a friendly face show up 5 days a week to say hi and check in is just as important as the meal."
On June 2nd, Amesbury's Council on Aging received word that the Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley and North Shore’s (ESMV) primary meals provider Trio Community Foods of Andover was unable to produce and deliver meals for the Meals on Wheels program due to the positive COVID-19 test of an employee and a subsequent inspection by the Andover Board of Health. The Meals on Wheels program was temporarily suspended and Amesbury's Council on Aging came up with a plan to make sure that no one went hungry.
Over the last two weeks, a team of 3 Council on Aging staff, 5 Emergency Operations Center volunteers and 1 intern, in addition to the regular Meals on Wheels drivers from Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley, delivered 1,120 meals to Amesbury residents in need.
Doreen explained, "I sent out one email on Tuesday and by Wednesday afternoon we have more than enough volunteers to get the meals out. For two weeks in a row, this team delivered 7 frozen meals to the 80 seniors in Amesbury and Merrimac. That's almost 1,200 meals. It's heartwarming to know that there is help just one phone call or email away for our seniors."
"Thank you so much to Doreen and her team for acting quickly to remedy this situation and make sure that our seniors didn't go hungry during this time. The Council on Aging has done so much for our seniors during the COVID-19 outbreak, and I'm grateful that they are so dedicated to this community," stated Mayor Kassandra Gove.
The Meals on Wheels program resumes on June 18th. Thank you to everyone who helped make sure Amesbury residents had the food they need during this time!
If you're a senior who is interested in signing up for the Meals on Wheels program, call ESMV at (978) 651-3017.