Home-Delivered Grocery Program for Senior Households in Lake County now available during COVID-19

UPDATE: The last distribution of free groceries will be Thursday, May 14.  For additional resources for food or services, please call 2-1-1.

April 3, 2020 – Mentor, OH – As the nation responds to the coronavirus pandemic, Laketran, Lifeline, Council on Aging, RSVP, the Lake County Board of Commissioners and United Way of Lake County have joined forces to provide temporary relief to Lake County seniors in need of home-delivered groceries.

As our most vulnerable population is being encouraged to abide by Ohio Governor DeWine’s stay at home and social distancing order, the agencies collaborated to fulfil a need among seniors in Lake County. The new program will provide basic home-delivered grocery items for those unable to grocery shop and do not have someone to shop for them.

The program provides a pre-selected bag of groceries to seniors free of charge, although donations will be accepted from those with the means to contribute. Households with a senior 60 years of age or older who live in Lake County are eligible to receive one bag of groceries per week. Bags will be assembled based on the availability of items in stock at stores and may include fresh fruits, vegetables, rice or pasta.  Items may vary each week based on availability.  An initial donation of shelf stable goods was provided by Council on Aging through contributions from the Life Brand Cowboy Church and United Way of Lake County.

Seniors can obtain groceries by calling Lifeline at 2-1-1 Monday – Sunday between the hours of 8:30 am to 5:00 pm or the Council on Aging at 440-205-8111 Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Requests must be received by 2:00 pm Monday for Tuesday delivery or by 2:00 pm Wednesday for Thursday delivery. Callers will be asked to complete a quick questionnaire by phone.

Laketran, with the help of RSVP staff and community volunteers organized by RSVP, will deliver the pre-bagged groceries and knock to alert the household of delivery. Drivers will not enter the home but may place the bag inside if needed. Those that go unanswered will receive a phone call alert.

“We’re happy to provide such a valuable service to some of our most vulnerable Lake County residents at this time of national emergency,” said Ben Capelle, Chief Executive Officer of Laketran.

United Way of Lake County (UWLC) is funding the program from donations raised from the Lake County Relief Fund  established to help lift burdens and support the Lake County community during the pandemic.

The funds donated by UWLC are being matched by funding from the Lake County Board of Commissioners Senior Services Levy.  “Many agencies are working outside of their typical functions to help meet the needs of seniors,” said Alyea Barajas, Senior Services Coordinator for the Board of Lake County Commissioners.  “I’m proud of the work we’ve done to collaborate on this effort and hopefully provide some relief to those most vulnerable.”

According to Jean Sency, United Way of Lake County Vice President of Community Relations, “This program is exactly why we established our Lake County Relief Fund. A full 100% of funds raised are being put back into our community in support of services like this. We’re working hard to support our partner agencies and other local human service agencies during the pandemic to both identify and fund programs that address the critical needs of our community.”

“If you have the means to do so, your donation is needed now more than ever,” said Sency.

Donations to the Lake County Relief Fund can be made online at uwlc.org, by texting LCRelief to 44321 or by mailing a check payable to United Way of Lake County to: United Way of Lake County, Att: Relief Fund, 9285 Progress Pkwy, Mentor, OH 44060.