A new low-cost delivery program is set to provide homebound Temple Citians with freshly prepared meals.
TEMPLE CITY, CA (Sept. 5, 2018)—Much like those of scores of cities across Southern California, Temple City’s population is rapidly aging. Forty percent of the city’s residents are projected to be over 55 years old by the year 2027—a fact that inspired a committee of senior advocates to come together to produce Temple City’s very first Senior Master Plan, unveiled in April.
The plan serves as “a roadmap of sorts for the future of our senior population,” says Temple City Parks & Recreation Manager Steve Lawson. Its 24 clear-cut recommendations for “action steps” to be taken over the next one to 10 years are part of the driving force behind a new meal delivery program set to launch out of Live Oak Park Community Center on Oct. 1.
The program, Lawson says, is the result of a partnership with Autumn Years, a nonprofit service provider that since 2007 has connected seniors in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties with a variety of low-cost resources, including nutritious, freshly prepared meals. He views it as a complement to the City’s existing senior lunch program, also based at the park’s community center, which provides up to 80 seniors each day with free hot lunches.
“A meal delivery program is something we’ve needed for quite a while,” Lawson says. “A licensing agreement will enable Autumn Years to use Live Oak Park’s facilities, but the program isn’t actually run by the City. Still, the services it provides to the community are very valuable and a big part of why the City chose to allow Autumn Years to work out of Live Oak Park’s kitchen.”
Autumn Years CEO Mary Salcedo, whose prior experience involves coordinating similar programs for several nearby cities, says all meals will be prepared by a qualified staff and offered at a rate of $3.50 per lunch and $4.50 per dinner. Residents who would like to place orders for meals can call in to a dedicated phone line to speak with an intake specialist tasked with recording meal requests and making note of any dietary needs or restrictions.
Although the program is geared toward homebound seniors and residents with disabilities, Salcedo notes that there are no concrete age or other eligibility requirements that would prevent people in need from receiving meals, just as long as they live in Temple City. Moreover, in addition to the small fees charged for meals, funding from sponsorships and grants will allow the program to grow as demand increases.
“Our service will also be available on a temporary basis, for example, to people who have recently been released from the hospital and might need a few weeks’ worth of meals while they’re recovering,” Salcedo adds. “We want people to know their community is here to help.”
Autumn Years is in the early stages of recruiting volunteers to assist with packing meals, among other tasks; for more information on volunteering or ordering meals, contact 626-688-2770.
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