TOMS RIVER – County-run home delivery meal companies will not close down during the coronavirus outbreak, as many senior residents rely on the services.
“Seniors who receive home delivered meals from our program will continue to receive their meals,” said Ocean County Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari, who serves as Chairman of Senior Services. “There are also other seniors, who attend the nutritional sites that have been closed due to the coronavirus, that have been identified as home delivered meal clients and will now be receiving meals at home.”
Community Service Inc. (CSI) has closed all its nutrition sites located in Toms River, Brick Township, Jackson Township, Lacey Township, Lakewood Township, Stafford Township and Whiting. Although CSI transportation services have been suspended, and chronic disease and diabetes workshops are canceled, CSI outreach and nutrition staff will make daily reassurance and wellness calls to ensure the safety and well-being of participants.
Places like the Lakewood Community Services Corporation have compiled shelf-stable meals for delivery and are working with the state vendor to ship the meals to Kosher Home Delivered Meal clients. While socialization has been suspended, the LCSC staff will administer outreach calls to clients over the phone.
“Our providers are making every effort to make sure the elderly, the frail and the vulnerable are not without a meal during this time,” Vicari said. “I appreciate all of these efforts. It’s together that we can get through this.”
The Jewish Family and Children Service has canceled all groups and at home/ in office appointments. Staff will remain in contact with program clients over the phone.
The Toms River Senior Center has closed its facility and suspended all programming. Any questions can be provided by staff over the phone. There will be available drivers for doctor appointments, food shopping and prescription pick-ups
Additionally, the Manchester Township offices will be closed to the public, but will remain open to answer phones from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. All transportation is cancelled.
All Brick Township Municipal offices and buildings will be closed to the public until further notice. Staff can be reached over the phone or email for any questions.
The Brick Township senior services will continue their bus transportation for food shopping and medical appointments for well visits. No home visits are allowed at this time, but wellness calls will be increased to include assistance participants.
“This is a fluid situation and we are all putting plans in place out of an abundance of caution,” Vicari noted. “Any senior having questions or concerns is encouraged to call the Ocean County Office of Senior Services. The staff is available to help especially during this time.”
To contact the Ocean County Office of Senior Services, call 732-929-2091 or 1-800-668-4899.