By JENNIKA INGRAM | Reporter
The Pacific Palisades Woman’s Club is stepping up to help its neighbors during these unprecedented times—working closely with Meals on Wheels West, which has served LA coastal communities since 1974.
The program’s mission is to provide “community-based services that nourish and enrich the lives of our homebound neighbors of all ages by providing nutritious meals, an emergency preparedness program and referrals to other services that promote independent living and wellbeing.”
Meals on Wheels West is serving more Palisadians than ever as people self-quarantine in response to COVID-19, Chris Baca, executive director, shared with the Post.
“More than 200 volunteers have stepped forward and delivered more than 32,000 meals in the first four months of the COVID pandemic,” Baca explained in a statement.
The organization focuses on delivering meals to older Americans, veterans, the formerly homeless, and the chronically ill and immunocompromised.
“There is hidden hunger even in the most affluent communities,” the statement continues. “In the last four months, the number of MOW West clients has grown by 49%.”
PPWC has been a partner with MOW West for years, the club’s past president, Robin Weitz, shared: “Our members enthusiastically deliver to clients in the Palisades.”
The COVID-19 crisis resulted in MOW West making immediate changes in how it serves the Palisades, Malibu and Santa Monica.
“They put in strict prophylactic measures, volunteers arrive at a designated time, wash hands before delivery, use hand sanitizer, and each delivery is done wearing gloves and a mask,” Weitz shared. “Clients are also called ahead of time—a wellness check and then another call is placed to leave food at the door.”
She shared that the process has been contactless and effective, that measures in place reduce the risk for clients, staff and volunteers.
In early March, Meals on Wheels West also reduced the number of delivery days to limit transmission and protect all of its clients, staff and volunteers.
“Not one volunteer, client or staff member has become infected,” Baca said at the time. “Our preventative measures are working.”
Weitz shared that PPWC appreciates “the great work” that Meals on Wheels West staff and volunteers do to help the community. The provided food is essential to the wellbeing of an increasing number of people in the area, Weitz continued.
“These are unprecedented times,” Baca said. “Delivering nutritious food to those who are most susceptible to the COVID-19 pandemic is critical.”
Meals on Wheels West clients are provided healthy meals (hot and frozen) with a colorful variety of vegetables, fruit and protein. Phone calls reassure clients that we are coming and that we care, Weitz said.
“It is hard for me to explain how I feel about Meals on Wheels service, they have changed my life,” one client, Micky, shared. “I could not do it without them. They have helped me to improve the quality of my life as well as my health.”
Meals on Wheels West is also partnering with the American Legion Ronald Reagan – Palisades Post 283 and Palisades Rotary Club.
“MOW West has been very supportive to veterans of all ages in Palisades and the Westside for many years,” First Vice Commander Jim Cragg shared in the statement.
Additional partners include Providence Saint John’s, Pepperdine, Google, Wells Fargo Bank, IMDb, UCLA-Kaiser Permanente Health Center, Santa Monica Rotary, Watt Companies and Amazon, among others.
These organizations have encouraged employees or members to volunteer and donate, as well as made donations to Meals on Wheels West.
“It is a joy to be of service to this necessary and wonderful organization,” Weitz concluded.
Those who are interested in donating to the program are able to do so at mealsonwheelswest.org.
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