Kentucky senior centers shift services to fight spread of coronavirus

Kentucky senior centers shift services to fight spread of coronavirus

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear made another recommendation Friday that could change day-to-day life for a lot of people across the Commonwealth.

Beshear announced 195 senior centers should shut their doors to protect those most vulnerable to coronavirus. He added that those centers typically provide around 8,000 meals a day.

At Highlands Community Ministries, the way seniors are being served is changing. As lunches are made, chairs are still sitting stacked. Instead of allowing those at the senior center to gather and chat, the operation will soon only consist of frozen meal pick-up and delivery with the help of Meals on Wheels.

“It does protect vulnerable populations because they are seniors, but at the same time it’s kind of sad that they lose that community building,” Highlands Community Ministries Executive Director Troy Burden.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced Friday the city will partner with senior centers to provide 26,000 frozen meals starting Tuesday.

At the HCM center, seniors are taking precautions, too.

"I watch out around other people," Kevin Mitchell, who picked up a to-go lunch, said. "I have hand sanitizer that I got from here."

Mitchell said he thinks the nonprofit is responding well to the virus, adding its services are invaluable to them.

"It ensures I have lunch some days because, other days, I'm too busy to fix something," he said.

Burden said, for now, the nonprofit is doing what it can, but he does have concerns that, if the virus spreads over a longer period, it could become harder to help.

“As hourly wage workers aren’t able to work, our emergency assistance program and our food pantries are going to get overrun,” he said.

He said that HCM is among the first lines of defense as people seek relief for rent and utility assistance.

Fischer said those seeking assistance can learn more by calling 502-574-5050.

Burden said you can contact HCM online or by phone if you are interested in volunteering.

Starting Tuesday, March 17, the Metro March for Meals program will distribute up to 1,000 frozen meal packs per day to people 60 years of age and older at six locations throughout the community on a rotating schedule. Meals will be available on a first-come, first-served basis from 10 a.m. until noon and are limited to one box per person and to five frozen meals per week. Older adults in need are advised to go to the center closest to their homes for assistance.

  • Mondays – Shawnee Community Center (607 S. 37th St., 40212)
  • Tuesdays – Beechmont Community Center (205 Wellington Avenue, 40214)
  • Wednesdays – Sun Valley Community Center (6505 Bethany Lane, 40272)
  • Wednesdays – East Government Center (200 Juneau Drive, 40243)
  • Thursdays – Wilderness Road Senior Center (8111 Blue Lick Road, 40219)
  • Fridays – Arthur S Kling Center (219 W. Ormsby Ave., 40203)

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