Changes brought on by COVID-19 have added more recipients to the list of homes receiving daily home delivered meals, but they’ve also brought uncertainty about whether meals will come during bad weather, a decision that until recently was tied to the local school district’s decision of whether to close schools.
“Under normal circumstances we always followed the school schedule for inclement weather. If the schools were closed due to inclement weather we didn’t deliver,” said senior services director Lona Morton.
Now, with schools being mostly virtual for the past year, that decision is no longer so easy to make, since no one is designated to go check on the roads.
“Right now with the schools not being 100 percent in-person I’m kind of working closely with the road department and (superintendent) Ronnie (Edge)’s called me in the mornings to let me know,” she said.
Beyond local weather, conditions in the other six counties that made up the GRADD district also affect the decision, because the program runs through GRADD and if four or more counties are experiencing weather bad enough to close schools, all seven senior centers close.
For now daily decisions will continue to be made in collaboration with the road department, but Morton said that even if meals aren’t delivered, someone will check on the seniors on the list.
“Every day that we are closed due to inclement weather we do contact the clients to let them know that meals aren’t coming, and then two just to check to see if there’s anything that they need,” she said.
By Dave Taylor