Valley senior centers start delivering meals due to COVID-19

Friday, March 20, 2020
Valley senior centers start delivering meals due to COVID-19
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Valley senior centers start delivering meals due to COVID-19

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- Some Central California organizations are having to dramatically change the way they feed senior citizens during the COVID-19 crisis.

Like many others around the country, the Visalia Senior Center is now closed.

But they are still providing nutritious, low-cost meals during the coronavirus pandemic.

Seniors should still place their order a day in advance and then pick up their meals in the parking lot.

"A lot of our seniors here, this is the only real satisfying meal that they're going to get, so we want to make sure that we were able to continue this," says Maggie Kalar of the Visalia Parks and Recreation Department.

The to-go option isn't a significant change for Visalia's Holden Mcintosh, who always brings his senior meal back to work.

But he understands just how valuable these kinds of services are, especially for seniors fearful of going to the grocery store or a restaurant.

"I think it's very important for everybody that they can get the meals delivered or picked up," he says.

Community Services Employment Training, or CSET, operates eight senior centers around Tulare County that serve hot meals.

They've closed too, so CSET Senior Services is starting to deliver frozen meals to roughly 200 seniors who would usually eat at one of their centers.

That's in addition to the 300 or so Meals on Wheels recipients they deliver to.

"It's more than likely going to be increasing. So we have a lot of family members calling from outside of the county areas, checking in to see if we can provide meals to their grandparents, their parents, whoever it may be, in this area," says Albert Cendejas of CSET.

As part of their emergency meal plan, CSET says they'll start by delivering five frozen meals once a week.

The Kings County Commission on Aging says they will also be providing five meals a week for those who rely on their senior nutrition sites.

Both agencies say they have enough volunteers for now, but they could always use cash donations to support their senior meal programs.

CSET says their annual senior day in the park, which was set to take place on May 1st, has been postponed because of COVID-19 concerns.

All of these organizations are still answering calls about their meals services and addressing any other concerns from the senior community.


Senior Services Hotline Number


Kings County Commission On Aging

559 852 2828

Visalia Senior Center


Kingsburg Community Assistance