Carey Whitfield and Karla Fales deliver groceries and other needed items to community member.

CareWell Services Southwest, the area agency on aging for Calhoun and Barry counties, has set new screening criteria to refocus their Food and Basic Needs Program during COVID-19, due to demand beyond its capacity.

The program’s primary mission is to help seniors avoid infection by supporting them as they shelter in place, and to support families and individuals meet their most basic needs for food, personal care and hygiene supplies.

To meet those goals, those who use the program must be:

  • Over age 60 or disabled.
  • Quarantined or isolated do to exposure, have positive coronavirus status, or be referred by a partnering organization.
  • Not reasonably able to access other food programs (pantry, school-based, food distribution sites, enhanced Bridge Card, commodities, etc.).
  • Not receiving Meals on Wheels or Congregate Take Away programs.
  • A new client to the program (one-time participation allowed).

The program provides personal care items, like shampoo, soap, and paper products; cleaning/household items like dish soap; and fresh food/staples not normally included in food boxes, like meat, bread, condiments, and basic baking supplies.

The United Way Disaster Relief Fund pays for this program. To date, this program has delivered over 100 grocery orders, totaling nearly $4,000. Volunteer shoppers are from the African American Coalition, Adventist Community Services, Communities in Schools, and the Burma Center.

For more information, or for eligibility guidance, please contact CareWell Services’ Senior Resource Call Center at (269) 441-0930 from 8:30 am to 4 pm, Monday through Friday.

If you do not fit this criteria, but need help, please call 211 for direction to the various community resources available.

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