Meals on Wheels, homeless shelters still carrying out missions in the face of COVID-19

Coronavirus

GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)- Those serving the most vulnerable among us are making changes but continuing their work in the face of COVID-19.

On Monday, staff at Meals on Wheels in Greenville scrambled to prepare more than 4,100 frozen meals for their clients.

“We heard that Greenville County school was closing, and, for us, we follow the school district closing schedule, so it was kind of we went into planning mode,” said Catriona Carlisle, who is the executive director of Meals on Wheels of Greenville County.

Whereas they usually drop off about 1,500 meals Monday through Friday, they’re consolidating. Tuesday they’ll be dropping off a hot meal and frozen meals to last the rest of the week.

“We implemented a new delivery system, a no contact delivery,” Carlisle said.

Volunteers will be picking up the meals in a drive through, and when they deliver them, leaving them on clients’ doors, knocking and stepping back at least six feet.

“It’s really fulfilling both parts of our mission, delivering that meal, but making sure that daily visit and personal contact that the client is okay,” Carlisle said.

While the homebound that receive meals on wheels are among the most vulnerable, those without homes are also at risk.

The director of social ministries at Greenville County’s Salvation Army, Lauren Stephens, told 7News all of their shelters are operating at capacity.

“We are having very strategic internal conversations about sanitary conditions, making sure that are sanitizing surfaces,” she said.

She and the director of Miracle Hill Rescue Mission in Greenville, David Hanna, said right now they are focusing on prevention among residents at their shelters.

“We are urging our guests to stay calm, but also to be careful, so we’ve given instructions and requested that they wash their hands frequently,” Hanna said.

Both Stephens and Hanna said they are scouting out places where they could quarantine people if the need should arise, and they are also using a mobile health clinic for their residents.

The director of Meals on Wheels in Greenville County said they haven’t come up with a plan yet for delivering meals next week, but she hopes they will develop one by Wednesday.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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