Meals on Wheels program stops rolling

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the county to suspend its Meals on Wheels delivery program. Contingencies to ensure those residents do not go hungry are being pursued.

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Local News

March 20, 2020 - 4:25 PM

Allen County is suspending its Meals On Wheels service. Photo by Flickr.com

According to county clerk Sherrie Riebel, Allen County’s Meals on Wheels program will be suspended Monday, until further notice. The service caters to about 80 households in Iola, Gas, LaHarpe and Moran.

Riebel said, though, “we don’t plan on people going hungry.”

Most residents enrolled in the program have a contingency plan and family to check on them, Riebel said. Those who do not will be checked on every day or every other day by the Sheriff’s Department.

For those who have a loved one who receives meal service, a version of the following letter is being personally handed to them today:

“This is a reminder that the Meals on Wheels program will be suspended beginning Monday, March 23rd until further notice. Please be sure that the Allen County Clerk’s Office has a current working number for you. Someone from the Allen County Sheriff’s Office will be contacting you periodically to check to see how you are doing and if you need anything. In an emergency, please call 9-1-1.”

Note that the letter asks to ensure current numbers are available for residents so that the Sheriff’s Office or other county offices can check in.

In Riebel’s words, “The Sheriff’s Office will be calling and checking on people … at least every other day …, and if they need food will get it to them”

Regarding Humboldt, those program participants will receive help from Sandy Hildinger, “whether that’s getting them food to make sure they get through the week [, and so on].”

According to Riebel, the Elderly Services van will also be shut down for an indefinite time.

In her words, “we’re handling that as well. … We have a contingency plan for that, too. [The driver] just won’t be giving rides.”

Riebel further explained: “We’re not transporting anybody, but if somebody desperately needs food or something, we’ll get their groceries and bring it back to them by the curb.”

If residents have any further business, Riebel said to contact the Sheriff’s Department if they did not already have someone’s specific number.

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