The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted how important our meal service is to vulnerable members of our community. The number of clients we serve has increased, with more people unable to safely shop for food. At the same time, many of our long-time, regular volunteers in high-risk categories have wisely chosen to stay at home until they feel safe to return.
We are extremely grateful for the many new volunteers who have come forward to help us continue our vital service during this challenging time. We also extend our sincerest thanks to the generous individuals and organizations who have made donations to help us manage additional expenses. Our continuing success truly reflects the compassion and commitment of the people of Fairview Park, Lakewood, and Rocky River.
At the outset of the pandemic, we provided our recipients with a multi-day supply of non-perishable food — free of charge — to use in the event our operations would be temporarily suspended. In an abundance of caution, we have only needed to close our kitchens for a few days during the pandemic.
Mindful of our vital mission, the two kitchens of West Shore Meals On Wheels have continued operations while strictly implementing recommended practices to protect our clients, volunteers, and staff from contact with and transmission of the virus. We take the following precautions:
Educating volunteers, staff, and recipients about safe practices.
Ensuring volunteers and staff maintain social distancing, wash their hands regularly, and wear masks and gloves when working in our kitchens and delivering meals.
Limiting kitchen access to essential personnel and minimizing contact during deliveries.
Regularly and frequently sanitizing of our equipment, workspaces, and contact surfaces.
Implementing leaves of absence for volunteers and staff who have traveled to high-risk areas or who may have been in contact with COVID-infected persons.