Senior Center looks to alternatives to provide food to older locals
With the spreading of COVID-19, the Marion County Senior Citizens center is taking precaution as they provide services to those that are at the highest risk for the virus.
"We've all had emergency plans but they haven't really covered a virus such as this," executive director, Debbie Harvey said.
The facility had to shut down their dining area after Gov. Jim Justice issued an executive order for any places that operate as restaurants and bars to limit their services.
This is the case for all three facilities in Marion County.
"We are considered a restaurant so we have to close our congregate meal sites, which is where the seniors come and eat," Harvey said.
Their mission is to provide programs and services to older locals in the area, but after the outbreak, they now have a new mission.
"Make sure the seniors are taken care of and they're fed," Harvey said. "That's what we're doing now," she said.
Workers will now create their own version of a drive-thru and for those who aren't capable or have available transportation, workers will deliver the meals to homes.
"We're keeping as many hands off of the food," Harvey said.
Besides having a meal, this is where many seniors get to socialize, and for some, it's their only interaction for the day.
"They're not going to be able to come and congregate but at least we're going to keep them fed," she said.
No social interaction is a hard bite for seniors to swallow, but workers are only trying to do what's best.
"It's just for everyone's well-being and that's our job here is to look out for our seniors," Harvey said.
Certain services will still remain available to seniors based on their individual needs. All employees will still report to work, but besides workers, no one is allowed to enter.