Ethos announced on April 3 it has been awarded a $560,000 grant from the Boston Resiliency Fund to temporarily expand, on an emergency basis, its city-wide Meals on Wheels program and serve an additional 2,000 meals per day, enabling older adults to remain in their homes, limit their exposure to COVID-19 and other people, and have healthy, nutritious meals.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented increase in the numbers older Bostonians seeking nutrition services. The Ethos Meals on Wheels program, which typically delivers 8,000 meals daily, is receiving more than 100 new requests for services each day, and anticipates scaling up to 10,000 to 12,000 meals per a day to meet the increasing demand.
“For many of Boston’s seniors, the coronavirus outbreak, and subsequent business closures and social distancing and self-isolation advisories, are severely disrupting their lives and they are turning to Ethos and its Meals on Wheels program, as a vital lifeline during this crisis,” said Valerie Frias, CEO of Ethos. “The grant from the Boston Resiliency Fund will help us to deliver healthy meals to additional seniors who are increasingly food insecure in this time of crisis.”
Even before the pandemic, one in four older Bostonians live in poverty and facing food insecurity. Nearly two out of three older adults live with four or more chronic conditions, making them even more susceptible to the COVID-19. And long before this pandemic started, the Boston Globe declared elder isolation a “crisis” and cited half of older adults sometimes or always feel alone.
The Boston Resiliency Fund is the City of Boston’s effort to help coordinate fundraising and philanthropic efforts to provide essential services to Boston residents whose health and well-being are most immediately impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.