LANSING — Cautioned to stay at home and in need of daily meals, Michigan’s older population ranks among the most vulnerable residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Food Bank Council of Michigan recognized this need during the pandemic’s first days, creating Quarantine Food Boxes specifically for older adults who are unable to access existing food distribution sites. The food supplies provide 10 days, or 22 adults meals, in nutritionally balanced, protein-rich, shelf-stable quarantine food boxes.
“Thus far, older adults represent almost 40 percent of the over 10,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Michigan,” said Dr. Dawn Opel, director of research and strategy initiatives for the Food Bank Council of Michigan. “It is critical that we minimize exposure of the virus to older adults and stabilize those who are sick or returning from the hospital. Without access to healthy food, seniors in quarantine may suffer not only from hunger but heightened risk of prolonged, more severe illness.”
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has created an intake form at newmibridges.michigan.gov/s/request-meal-delivery-reassurance?-language=en_US for seniors in need of meal delivery or a daily check-in call. The Food Bank Council of Michigan, in cooperation with Gleaners Community Food Bank, are currently packing the initial 10,000 boxes with assistance from the Michigan National Guard.
“So much gratitude goes to our state food banks during this time of incredible demand, especially for our vulnerable older residents,” said Dr. Phil Knight, executive director, Food Bank Council of Michigan. “We cannot express how indebted we are to the National Guard for their humanitarian work to make sure no Michigander goes without food.”
To donate to the Quarantine Food Box program as well as support COVID-19 efforts by each of Michigan’s seven food banks, visit www.MichiganFoodDrive.com. — G.G.