Old Colony Elder Services (OCES), the nonprofit agency proudly serving older adults and individuals with disabilities throughout Plymouth County as well as Avon, Stoughton and Easton, MA, has provided groceries to 2,000 Meals on Wheels consumers in their service area.
As a local Meals on Wheels affiliate, OCES was the recipient of a $75K donation to Meals on Wheels of America, made by the Medtronic Foundation. With this funding, OCES was able to spearhead an innovative “Grocery Bag” project. OCES provided a week’s worth of groceries, or the equivalent of 15 meals (packed into a reusable grocery bag) to every one of their Meals on Wheels consumers during the week of August 10-14, 2020.
“We are incredibly grateful to the Medtronic Foundation for their generous donation which helps address one of the major impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic – food insecurity – among the older adult population in communities that we serve,” said Nicole Long, CEO of OCES.
The overall goal of OCES’ grocery bag project is to increase food security while reducing older consumers’ short-term need to grocery shop. In collaboration with OCES, Stop & Shop’s e-commerce facility in Brockton sourced, assembled and delivered the grocery bags to OCES’ congregate meal sites. OCES volunteers then picked up the grocery bags from the meal sites and delivered them to consumers’ homes with their ongoing Meals on Wheels deliveries.
Each grocery bag was packed with a wide variety of shelf-stable, nutrient-dense foods, such as pasta, tomato sauce, peanut butter, unsalted crackers, tuna fish, breakfast bars, oatmeal, raisins, applesauce, brown rice and more. One recipient commented that the unexpected surprise “…was the best gift bag of groceries that I had ever received and everything in it is something I would eat and use”.
Long continued, “We’d like to thank our partner, Stop & Shop, for supplying the food, assembling the bags and delivering them to our meal sites. Their essential support contributed to the overall success of our Grocery Bag project in further meeting the nutrition needs of our most vulnerable residents during this challenging time.”
OCES’ Nutrition Program
OCES delivers over 45,000 nutritious meals a month to older adults and individuals with disabilities living within the 23 communities in their service area. All meals are planned by a nutritionist, and with the help of hundreds of volunteers, are delivered to individual homes.
Referrals to OCES’ Nutrition Program for home delivered meals have dramatically increased over 25 percent due to social isolation, food insecurity and other issues related to COVID-19. Not only are older adults staying home, they are interacting with family and friends less so the need for a daily safety check has become crucial to supporting the older adults in the area.
All of OCES’ programs – from Nutrition and Home Care to Protective Services – remain in place and are operating during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information or services from OCES, contact their Information and Referral Department at 508-584-1561.
for information about Medtronic Foundation and their COVID-19 global response efforts. Visit https://www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org to learn more about Meals on Wheels of America.
Founded in 1974, OCES proudly serves greater Plymouth County and surrounding communities. OCES is a private, non-profit organization headquartered in Brockton with a second office in Plymouth. OCES is designated as one of 25 Aging Services Access Points (ASAPs) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. OCES’ mission is to support the independence and dignity of older adults and individuals with disabilities by providing essential information and services that promote healthy and safe living. The agency offers a number of programs to serve older adults, individuals with disabilities, their families and caregivers. For more information call 508-584-1561 or visit www.ocesma.org.