The corona virus has affected many businesses all over the world, but we wanted to check in with our local businesses in Hancock County. During one interview with Lona Morton, Director of the Senior Center, we learned that when the Corona virus pandemic began, Governor Beshear said any person over the age of 60 who wanted a meal, could get a meal.
The Senior Center, which is currently closed, is still trying to do as many things as possible to help senior citizens. Lona said, “We are handing out activity material that is pertinent to seniors in their stage of life; like health promotion information and educational materials.” “We hand them out with the meals.” “We also have had drive-thru flu shot clinics.” Poole’s Pharmacy was giving flu shots as people drove by to get their meal.
Lona said,” The criteria for home delivered meals has been waived, but we do encourage people who drive and get out, to come pick up a meal at the Senior Center.” The Senior Center has had to add another route due to the situation, making it more difficult. “We were typically serving 22 regular meals, and now we are serving 56 meals” she said. “We had three meal drivers and then had to go to four drivers because we had to add another route,” said Lona. The meal drivers are hired, not volunteers.
“Also once a month Encompass Healthcare is providing blood pressure checks in the drive-thru line, and Oakwood is helping with some things as well,” Lona said. She said one of their biggest challenges is to keeping people physically and mentally active when they’re not physically coming into the senior center. On top of the additional money for the meal drivers, there is extra cost of the mileage they’ve incurred because all of the routes are now longer.
When asked how the Senior Center gets the additional money to pay for the extra mileage and food, Lona said, “ The County is picking up the extra mileage right now, and money for the meals is split between the county, our contracted money with GRADD and some CARES money. “The meals are coming from Canteen, out of Owensboro, which are panned up and then we package them up individually,” said Lona.
Lona said a typical meal is a hefty lunch. One example she gave for a lunch meal was the following: a pork chop and cheesy potatoes, along with peas and carrots, raisins, bread and one percent milk. In Hawesville they serve lunch between 11:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, with a suggested donation of $1.50. In Lewisport they hand out meals on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s between 11:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Lona said family members will sometimes come out to write and decorate on the Senior Centers’ windows, so people have something positive to view while waiting in line for their meal.