COVID-19 Updates

The past few weeks have brought a lot of uncertainty for all of us. But one thing we do know for certain is we will continue to do everything we can to help local, homebound seniors.

Seniors are reportedly the most at-risk population when it comes to COVID-19. That’s why extra precautions are being taken to provide nourishment and security to our seniors.

Stay safe, call your neighbors, give a roll of toilet paper to a friend in need. ♥️

 

OPERATIONS UPDATES

We are continuing to work with local and state officials to modify services according to the latest guidelines. Our goal will always be to keep homebound seniors safe, at home, and nourished. Check back, on this page, for the latest updates as we get more information and see how this pandemic progresses. 
5/14/20

Two months into modified operations for COVID-19, and we’re thrilled to announce that operations will be slowly opening back up to volunteers and expanding transportation. Details below.

Please note: the dates listed are subject to changed as we continue to evaluate the current environment. 

MEAL DELIVERY 

For the past 2 months, all meals were being delivered weekly to reduce exposure.

Moving forward, rural routes will continue weekly frozen meal delivery, with volunteers returning to deliver the week of May 26th.

Pre-COVID-19 daily routes will return to daily hot meals, delivered by volunteers effective June 1st.

If you have previously delivered meals, Lisa will reach out to you in the coming days with additional details and new safety policies. Please do not feel pressured to deliver! If you may be sick, have been around someone who has gotten sick, or simply do not wish to resume delivering at this time, let us know and we will find a sub for your route. Safety for everyone is top priority.

If you’ve submitted an application to deliver meals, please hang tight! We’re doing our best to navigate these uncharted waters and will be in touch soon.

CONGREGATE DINING

Community Centers remain closed at the discretion of the local Commissioners. Until they re-open, MOW will continue with drive thru pick up or home delivered meal options for those who previously relied on meals from congregate dining.

TRANSPORTATION

Senior Rides will be slowly expanding rides effective June 1st. Rides to critical appointments such as Dialysis will continue as we slowly add in trips to the grocery store for our most under-served areas.

The number of passengers will be limited, face masks will be required, and new requirements will be taken for sanitation purposes.

If you previously utilized Senior Rides, Sherry will be contacting you in the coming days.

OFFICE BASED VOLUNTEERS

Limited office based volunteer opportunities will be returning in the coming weeks. Face masks as well as additional safety precautions will be required. New opportunities will be posted on our Facebook page and website calendar.

5/1/20

Dear Meals on Wheels Family,

I hope this finds you and your loved ones safe and well. We continue to keep the wheels rolling while taking precaution for our amazing staff as well as our precious clients. We have missed our volunteers and the feeling is mutual between the clients. They are thankful for the continued service, but often ask when they are going to see their long-time friends that deliver meals and offer familiar security. There is definitely a sense of family in our mission.

While there have been many challenges over the past month, we have much to be thankful for. We have witnessed the generosity and spirit of our community coming together by the amount of food donations, monetary gifts as well as prayers and encouragement for us as we continue to serve our most high risk population.

We are now in our permanent location, all together under one roof for the first time in 47 years. We added 77 new clients to service in March. What a gift to have the capacity to expand our services to the most vulnerable in our community!

Many of you have asked how you can volunteer, even submitting the application to deliver meals. Thank you for taking action and wanting to help your neighbors during these uncertain times. Unfortunately, for safety reasons, volunteer orientations have been postponed. As Montgomery County begins to re-open, we are closely monitoring the progress and will bring on new volunteers as soon as safely possible. We can certainly use your help! 

While times of crisis often create a feeling of uncertainly about what the future will bring, I can tell you with absolute certainty that our future is full of hope for new opportunities to further our mission in Montgomery County.

We will get through this together. On behalf of those we serve, thank you.

Stay well,
Summer

4/13/20

🎉 BIG NEWS 🎉

As we continue to navigate the new COVID-19 ways of operating, the kitchen has officially moved to the new MOW Headquarters in Conroe! This has been months in the making, and happened a little quicker than expected – but we’re so excited to all be operating under one roof.

Read more about the move and what’s next.

3/30/20

Just last week, we added 41 seniors to service while continuing to deliver meals to the 600+ seniors who relied on us before the pandemic began.

Volunteers, we miss you dearly – and our seniors miss you most! We’re praying for the day normal operations can resume. 

Thanks to each and every one of you. Whether you donated online, dropped off food drive items, or continue to cheer us on via Facebook and Instagram, your support is literally keeping the wheels rolling!

Continue reading for operational updates. All previously posted information remains accurate.

3/27/20

This afternoon, a new Emergency Declaration was issued for Montgomery County. For news on this declaration, and other COVID-19 information in our county, click here.

Thankfully, Meals on Wheels Montgomery County is considered an essential service and we will continue to operate in our new (temporary) normal. Read updates below to see what that entails.

3/26/20

Last week, we mastered the new (temporary) normal for home delivered meals. This week, congregate dining has found it’s new normal. Details below. All previously posted information is still accurate.

CONGREGATE DINING

  • Drive thru is officially underway! East County drive thru will be open on Wednesdays, South County open on Thursdays, and Magnolia open on Fridays. Times are limited, and seniors must be pre-approved to receive these meals. To apply for meals, click here.
  • All seniors who previously relied on meals from congregate dining have been contacted to identify if they would prefer home delivered meals or to utilize the drive thru pick up.

TRANSPORTATION

  • Our bus drivers have stepped up in a BIG way the last 2 weeks. The buses aren’t running (except for critical clients), and we’re short on staff since limiting the work of volunteers (to reduce exposure) … so the bus drivers are now using their buses to deliver meals!

Know that the entire MOW team hasn’t skipped a beat, even when faced with a global pandemic. With your help, we’ll continue to do whatever to takes to keep seniors at home, safe, and well-nourished. See below for ways you can support our most vulnerable neighbors.

3/19/20

Donors, volunteers, and staff are certainly the light shining through the darkness right now. Eager to help and willing to jump into the new (temporary) normal without hesitation!

With these latest modifications, ALL seniors who rely on Meals on Wheels for meals will continue receiving this much-needed service. The process may be a little different, but at the end of the day, our most vulnerable neighbors will be safe and nourished.

All previously posted information is still accurate. Additional updates below.

MEAL DELIVERY 

  • Chef John and his team cooked and packaged nearly 2,000 meals in 4 days.
  • The need is growing. In the last 3 days, we received 30 calls from seniors needing food. We normally receive about 50 calls a MONTH.
  • How do we serve all those that call? With donations from people like you. If you feel called to help, please donate to the virtual food drive.

CONGREGATE DINING

  • A drive-thru style meal service is in the works, to be set up at the Community Centers that typically offer congregate dining.
  • Apartment complexes may also serve as distribution points, to reduce the number of seniors having to leave home. More to come on that!

TRANSPORTATION

  • Transportation clients who cannot drive will now receive home delivered meals, drastically reducing their risk of malnourishment and the negative affects of social isolation. 
3/18/20

All previously posted information is still accurate. Additional updates below.

MEAL DELIVERY 

  • We’re receiving an unprecedented number of calls from seniors in need of meals. We are seeking out emergency funding to cover this growing need.
  • If you called in need of meals, we appreciate your patience. We are working as quickly as possible.
  • How do we feed more seniors? With donations from people like you. Just today, Chef John made potato leek soup with blackberry cobbler from Food Drive donations! If you feel called to help, please donate to the virtual food drive.

CONGREGATE DINING

  • Community Centers throughout Montgomery County remain closed, but talks are underway to safely get meals to seniors who have previously relied on congregate dining at these locations.
  • High-risk food-insecure congregate clients in East County will continue to receive meal delivery, as explain in the update from 3/16. 

TRANSPORTATION

  • Senior Rides is operating at 5% capacity, only transporting seniors to dialysis appointments. Drivers continue to take extra precautions to sanitize.
3/17/20

Social distancing is really hitting home today, particularly for the seniors who live alone.

Our seniors rely on home-delivered meals for food, but the social connection with their volunteers is equally important. Meals are still being delivered; however we cannot visit in the seniors’ homes or stay for a while to chat, like so many volunteers typically do. This is in accordance with state and federal guidelines around social distancing.

Today’s update focuses on the home delivered meal program. For the latest on Congregate Dining, Transportation, and office-based volunteering, please read the post from yesterday below (3/16/20).

MEAL DELIVERY 

Daily delivery schedules are being modified to reduce the risk of exposing immune-compromised seniors.

  • Those who previously received daily deliveries will now receive weekly deliveries, which will include one hot meal and additional frozen meals for the remainder of the week.
  • The dedicated kitchen crew is tirelessly working to cook and freeze these necessary meals.
  • Caring Connections Phone Tree: regular meal delivery volunteers can now stay connected with the seniors they have come to know and love, through daily phone calls. These calls help provide the connection we are all craving right now, and serve as a wellness check … ensuring seniors have enough food, aren’t showing any signs of illness, etc.
  • All meals continue to be delivered by MOW staff to limit exposure.

FOOD DRIVES

  • As seniors report critical food supplies, we are delivering additional shelf-stable items – an option made possible by overwhelming support from Food Drives. Learn more about how you can help below.
3/16/20

MEAL DELIVERY 

  • Effective immediately, MOW staff will be delivering all routes for home delivered meals. We plan to run this modified operation through Friday, 3/27, but will extend / modify as needed. 
  • Seniors will continue to receive their regular deliveries.

CONGREGATE DINING

  • Last week, local Commissioners closed all congregate dining sites to protect our aging community. This closure is in effect until further notice.
  • We’re partnering with the East County Commissioner’s office to provide meals to the dozen of seniors who rely on congregate dining as their sole source of food. These meals will be delivered by Community Center employees. 

TRANSPORTATION

  • The need for rides has drastically scaled back as seniors are avoiding crowds and staying home. We are continuing to provide service to clients with essential appointments, while taking extra precautions to sanitize the buses.
  • Clients who rely on our buses for trips to the grocery store or congregate dining are now, temporarily, receiving home delivered meals. 

OFFICE BASED VOLUNTEERS

  • Outside of meal delivery, volunteers are being handled on a case-by-case basis. If you are scheduled to volunteer in the coming weeks, continue to monitor this page and / or the calendar event. For specific questions, contact your volunteer coordinator. 

HOW YOU CAN HELP

An increasing number of seniors are becoming homebound, as the fear of going out and being exposed to COVID-19 continues. We have the system in place to deliver supplies to these seniors, but we need your help to provide the food.

Join the virtual food drive … because no one deserves to have an empty pantry, especially at times like this. 

While the virtual food drive complies most with social distancing protocols, shelf-stable items are still being accepted for drop off at the following locations: 

If you have been exposed to anyone showing symptoms of any kind, or are feeling unwell yourself, please do not bring your donation.

  • MOW Headquarters – Conroe |  111 South 2nd Street, Monday – Friday, 7am – 2pm
  • B52 Brewing – Conroe  |  12470 Milroy Lane, check their Facebook page for times
  • The Cozy Grape – Montgomery  |  14340 Liberty Street, Tuesday – Saturday, 5 – 8:30pm 
  • Fieldings Wood Grill – The Woodlands |  1699 Research Forest Drive, check their Facebook page for times

Please note, the kitchen has relocated to the MOW Headquarters in Conroe (read more about this under above, 4/13 update). The South County Community Center is no longer a drop off site for donations.

Click here for the food drive wish list.