On the 19th of March, 2020, the Mayor of Los Angeles, Mayor Garcetti, was involved in the dutiful protection of the aged population during one of the first waves of the novel Coronavirus outbreak.
The Safer At Home Order was set up by the government of Mayor Garcetti to keep the most vulnerable citizens safe and steady away from the destruction caused by the virus. Since people are staying at home, they can hardly work, and they can barely get all the food they need during the Lockdown period. So, especially for the older generations who have a high risk of contracting COVID-19, the government of Los Angeles is now giving food packages to support the citizens in a trying time.
The government also places importance on the workers in the hospitality and restaurant businesses who were really hit hard when the pandemic initially began, and also now that it is beginning to stabilize all over the world (Although there are rumors of another outbreak spirally out of control soon.). Because of the closure of most businesses in the state, the government also engages in supporting them out of the mess by killing two birds with a stone.
The ingenious idea brought up by Mayor Garcetti was to solve both the problems of the seniors who can’t really fend for themselves at this time, and also to offer employment to the thousands of workers put out of their jobs because of the outbreak of the virus.
That ingenious idea soon became known as The Senior Meal Emergency Response Program. The Senior Meal Emergency Response Program was created during the heat of the first COVID-19 outbreaks to be a helping agenda to the senior residents in the city and also to the workers involved with the restaurant and hospitality services in the Los Angeles city.
The main provision by this program is to deliver healthy and nutritious meals to the homes of senior members of the society through the government’s partnership with Everytable. Everytable is an enterprise based in Los Angeles that focuses on the growth of the community, and Hospitality Training Academy, which is development group for a better and more united workforce. Hospitality Training Academy is involved in the training of low-income societies in Los Angeles so that the recipients of these training can have knowledge about and be involved in the hospitality business.
Every day, even up till now, thousands of citizens benefit from this innovative program by Californian government which runs from breakfast to dinner time; this means that the beneficiaries of this program are fed three times a day for free. Funds from FEMA were used along with some local donations to pay the chefs for their food and the time taken to prepare those meals.
The governor of California, Governor Gavin Newsom also created the program where food is served at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel to elders who are really in need of it at present. The program is called the “Great Plates Delivered” – part of the efforts made by the Californian government to ease off the tension and stress brought upon the people by the novel Coronavirus disease outbreak which has impacted the society negatively like the number of deaths recorded for instance, and also because of the high rate of unemployment and hunger which has also been recorded during this period.
Even the reviews by the workers are beautiful concerning this program. For instance, Alba Molina, a 57-year old cold food prep cook now working at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel Downtown, had this to say about the program.
“It’s helping me pay my bills. It’s not just any job; it’s a good job with benefits. I feel honored to be able to provide them this service.”
Many of her new colleagues, recently empowered also by the government, agree with her completely on this too. The lockdown put so many people out of jobs and it came as a relief to the workers like those at the Westin Bonaventure hotel when the government came through with their plans to sustain the workers and also the aged people in the State of California.
Due to this feeding and sustenance budget deployed by the California government, more than 4,700 seniors in the Los Angeles area are being fed three square meals a day with not so much as a delay in the food production or delivery.
The Financing Details of The Program From FEMA
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) takes care of at least 75% of the costs of what it takes to feed that amount of aged people the government of California is sustaining now. Governor Gavin Newsom took up this project to satisfy three things –
- The service of food and other necessary sustenance to the percentage of the Californian population that’s quite vulnerable when it comes to the COVID-19 menace.
- The enhancement of the employment capacity from Los Angeles farms to the kitchens.
- The generation of more avenues to increase the tax revenue gotten from the cities.
Other Organizations That Provide Free Meals for Seniors –
LA Regional Food Bank
Contact –(323) 234-3030
If You Need Meals. St. Vincent Meals on Wheels
Contact –(213) 484-7775 or visit the official website at: https://www.stvincentmow.org/if-you-need-meals/
Urban Partners LA
Contact – (213) 401-1191 or email them at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Project Angel Food
Contact – (323) 845 -1800 or email them at: email@example.com
San Fernando Valley Corps
Address – No. 14917, Victory Boulevard, Van Nuys, CA 91411
Contact –(818) 781-5739.
EAST LA Corps
Address – No. 140 N Eastman Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90063
Contact – (323) 263-7577.
LA Korean Corps
Address – No. 933 S. Hoover Street, Los Angeles, CA 90006
Contact –(213) 480-0714
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has sent its representatives to the office of the Government of California to inform them that, asides from their funding of the program cost (more than 75%), the FEMA management is also interested in the expansion to serve more qualified senior personnel in the whole of the Los Angeles County.
What is happening now is that more than 200 cooks and chefs based in Los Angeles are currently working again to serve the state’s residents with good food. The California Government stepped in to launch the project to stop the hunger breeding in the land. The federal disaster relief money had to be used to pay off some restaurants to prepare and serve free meals to the local community of the Los Angeles seniors who were at most risk to contract the virus.
FEMA didn’t do this alone though; there are two other agencies also heavily involved to guarantee the success of this fantastic program. They are the Hospitality Training Academy (HTA) and Unite Here, which is a hotel and restaurant merger.
Header Image Credit: LA County