Coronavirus Crisis Doubles Need for Meals on Wheels Volunteers


The COVID-19 crisis has shone a spotlight on just how quickly people can find themselves without food. Applications for meal delivery from Seniors First, Placer County’s only senior-focused service organization and provider of Meals on Wheels, have more than doubled in recent weeks.

Over 400 clients are served in Placer County per day through Meals on Wheels. Many of Seniors First’s volunteer delivery drivers, some seniors themselves, have been sidelined due to COVID restrictions which has dramatically increased the need for additional volunteers.

“What used to be considered a convenience or a matter of safety has now become a basic need for so many. Without volunteers, we simply cannot meet the demand of these seniors that are alone and hungry,” said Seniors First Executive Director Stephanie Vierstra.

Even with family nearby, work schedules, lack of transportation or other limitations can leave seniors hungry.

“Prior to receiving Meals on Wheels, my mother had lost 15 pounds due to lack of proper nutrition. The daily contact of a meal delivery has been truly lifesaving for her,” commented the daughter of a client in Colfax.

Volunteers create their own schedules and are eligible for mileage reimbursement. Safety standards have always included hand sanitization and gloves, but the organization is taking additional precautions during the health crisis.

As the elderly population in the region continues to grow, this increased demand for its programs will most likely continue.

If you or someone you know would like to get involved, please call Seniors First at (530) 889-9500.

The mission of Seniors First is to provide long-term support and services to help Placer County older adults maintain their independence and thrive. Relying on community support and utilizing volunteer efforts, Seniors First provides senior nutrition and meal programs, transportation to daily errands or medical appointments, information and assistance, a friendly visitor program for homebound seniors and housing placement assistance.

* The City of Rocklin awarded a portion of  annual federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to Seniors First to benefit seniors in Rocklin.

The funds support the Senior Congregate Café, where older adults can eat a free, nutrient-rich lunch specially designed for the needs of seniors. Approximately 350 meals are served each month at the Rocklin Café, which is located in an easily accessible location at the Rolling Oaks Apartments.