By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– Responding to the COVID-19 outbreak and statewide Stay at Home Orders, the County has launched a variety of programs — ranging from limits on evictions to the COVID Compliant Business Partnership — to help residents and businesses cope with these unprecedented challenges. Much of our focus has been assisting the County’s most vulnerable populations.
One standout program is Great Plates Delivered, a food delivery campaign for senior residents that is being implemented by the County Department of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS) in collaboration with the Office of Emergency Services, 2-1-1 San Bernardino County and the County Joint Information Center, along with the State and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA.
DAAS began by recruiting 37 local restaurants to participate in the program. These community-minded establishments prepare three nutritious meals a day for delivery to older residents who meet a variety of criteria (e.g., having pre-existing health conditions and income levels well below the federal poverty limit).
In addition to assisting County residents, the program has benefitted restaurant owners and employees by generating a crucial new source of revenue.
“Because of the program, we were able to bring back 75% of our staff,” said Mark Furuuchi, owner of Gourmet Gourmet Catering.
“Thus far we have served nearly 35,000 meals, and the response from recipients has been 100% gratitude.”
Chef Henry Gonzalez, who owns Spaggis Restaurant, agreed. “I train my staff to cook with passion — as if they were cooking for their own parents or grandparents,” he said. “With our food, seniors are feeling the love of their County and the state. At the same time, this program has helped our business, it’s helped our vendors, and it’s helped us keep all our people employed.”
Since its launch in early May, the program has already provided more than 485,000 meals to almost 2,700 residents living in 60 communities throughout the County — from the City of San Bernardino to Needles and Twentynine Palms. Great Plates Delivered was originally slated to conclude in June, has been extended until Sept. 9.
“We’ve been very pleased with this program and its impact on residents who are susceptible to the disease and face a variety of related challenges,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman. “We are thankful for the participating restaurants, which have helped ensure people obtain delicious, healthy food, as well as the volunteers who have given their time to deliver those meals.”
Residents can see and hear more in this inspiring and informational video about how Great Plates Delivered is succeeding in San Bernardino County.