5 New Programs in Response to COVID-19 including $93,800 in food to Franklin County and North Quabbin elders

  • LifePath volunteers collect food and personal protection equipment to deliver to PCA consumers under 60. LifePath is providing a 7- or 14-day supply of frozen meals as well as offering Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Contributed photo

Staff writer
Published: 5/28/2020 3:05:12 PM
Modified: 5/28/2020 3:05:05 PM

In response to the financial and food insecurity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, LifePath, serving Franklin County, plus the four Worcester County towns of Athol, Petersham, Phillipston, and Royalston, is offering a variety of new options for help.

Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP)

Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs applied for and was accepted into the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). This new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program will take several actions to assist farmers, ranchers, and consumers in response to the COVID-19 national emergency. The Executive Office of Elder Affairs will coordinate the procurement, processing, and delivery of a food box designed to help elders access needed protein. LifePath has signed on to be a regional distributor for area elders, and will work with Councils on Aging to distribute the food.

Participating elders will receive one 10-pound box of pre-cooked meats or cheeses (chicken sausage, pork sausage, chicken patties, and cheeses) per delivery, at a value of about $50 per box. LifePath has signed on to distribute 469 boxes four times a year (May/June; July/August; September/October; November/December). People 60 and over are eligible and there is no cost to our community.

The program will bring about $93,800 in food to Franklin County and North Quabbin elders.

The delivery of the boxes will be “Truck to Trunk,” with food available for pickup or delivery. Eligible people interested in getting a food box can contact their local COA. Participating sites include the Athol Senior Center, Orange Senior Center, and Petersham COA.

Grocery store gift cards and care giver grants

Financial support is also available from LifePath during this time in the form of grocery store gift cards (in limited quantities) and caregiver grants (as long as funds are available). Contact LifePath if you are experiencing financial insecurity and could use these supports.

Grocery shoppingand delivery

In addition, LifePath is offering volunteer grocery shopping and delivery in Franklin County and the North Quabbin areas for people over age 60 or people with physical illnesses or disabilities or people who are immunocompromised. If this is you, and you are concerned about visiting the grocery store and don’t have someone who can help, LifePath can.

Phone Pals program

For people who feel isolated because of social distancing, LifePath has initiated the Phone Pals program, where volunteers will call participants to chat. If you or a loved one are feeling lonely, this is a way to reach out.

Meals and PPE to PCA consumers Under 60

Besides continuing to respond to increased demand for Meals on Wheels for those 60 and over, LifePath is also reaching out to PCA consumers under 60, to provide a 7 or 14 day supply of frozen meals as well as offer Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). There is a team of volunteers doing the deliveries on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

You can take the first step to receive help for you or a loved one by contacting LifePath at 413-773-5555, 978-544-2259, or by emailing info@lifepathma.org.

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