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Feeding the aging during the pandemic

Baltimore County to double its meals for seniors
Posted at 4:10 PM, May 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-07 17:40:16-04

ARBUTUS, Md. — She’s homeschooling some of her grandchildren and making sure they eat right, but Arlene Grochmal could use some much-needed relief for herself in the form of three meals a day for almost a week through a new program in Baltimore County.

“It would be a terrific idea, because we can’t get out to the stores right now and they’re limiting all the meats,” said Arlene Grochmal of Arbutus. “It’s just really, really hard for us right now. That’s why we’re bringing the kids down here for the lunches. It’s absolutely terrific, but helping out with the seniors? It would be awesome.”

The county has received $590,000 from the Federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act to pay for the program, which will allow it to nearly double the amount of food being handed out specifically to seniors during the pandemic, and there’s no question there’s a need for it.

Within 24 hours of publicizing the program, it had already filled all of its initial 300 appointments.

“We have filled all of our slots for next week, but we’re already planning on doing a double order for the following week, because now we know that the demand is there, we’ll be able to order more food and we’ll take more appointments,” said Department of Aging Director Laura Riley. “Starting next Monday, we’ll start taking appointments for the following week.”

Workers will be handing out the boxes full of food from 10 o’clock in the morning to noon on Tuesdays at the Parkville Senior Center on Harford Road and at the Liberty Senior Center on Resource Drive in Randallstown, and on Thursdays, from 10am to noon at the Ateaze Senior Center on Holabird Avenue in Dundalk.

Organizers say by requiring appointments, they hope to avoid long lines, and when you pull up, they can put it in your trunk without getting out of your vehicle.

“We really appreciate that… if they could do that for the seniors,” said Grochmal. “I know we go up there on Saturdays now and get food up here, and that’s great. They give you a lot of food---the National Guard, but we still have to wait in line for so long.”

If you’re a Baltimore County resident at least 60 years of age or older, you can call to set up an appointment for the time, the date and the location to pick up your full box of meals. That number to call---410-887-2040.