Ventura County agency expands food programs for older adults in need after surge in pandemic

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VENTURA, Calif. – The Ventura County Area Agency on Aging (VCAAA), with support from the County’s Executive Office, has announced its expanding its food and meal resource programs in response to the COVID-19 crisis and the recent surge in cases.

When the COVID-19 crisis began in March, the VCAAA responded to the needs of more than 200,000 older adults and those living with a disability by expanding the services offered through the Agency’s Senior Nutrition Program. 

“We identified that safe access to food would become one of the biggest challenges for the populations we serve,” said Victoria Jump, Director of the VCAAA. “In less than a week we began operating a full-service emergency food pantry that provides food boxes with two weeks worth of meals.”

The agency said partnerships with World Central Kitchen, 34 locally-owned restaurants and 11 community meal sites made it possible for them to reach even more people with fresh, high-quality meals.

Since March, the VCAAA has served more than 2.7 million meals to Ventura County residents.

As the COVID-19 crisis continues, however, so does the need for older adults to shelter in place.

Effective immediately, the VCAAA is working to reach any Ventura County resident age 65 and older, those 60 to 64 who have an underlying health condition and people with disabilities that have limited or no access to food resources.

“We recognize the great need that exists for this type of service,” Jump said. “We remain committed to reaching as many of Ventura County’s older adults and people with disabilities as possible during this difficult time.”

To qualify, individuals must meet the age requirements noted above and must be sheltering in place with no other safe access to food. The VCAAA continues to encourage family members and neighbors to safely connect with loved ones who may benefit from support with grocery shopping or other errands.

Those interested in applying should visit www.vcaaa.org or call 805-477-7300.

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