PREBLE COUNTY — Preble County Council on Aging (PCCOA) is delivering 250 meals per day to seniors with need throughout Preble County. This is just one of the ways they are responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Meals on Wheels
PCCOA delivers one hot meal and one cold meal fives days a week though their Meals on Wheels program. They are also delivering The Register-Herald and a “bag of seven,” which includes shelf stable items such as oatmeal, peanut butter, fruit cups, juices, raisins, and dry milk.
Additional deliveries may include any of the following: cat food, dog food, shower chairs, canes, walkers, pads, adult diapers, coloring books, coloring pencils, etc. PCCOA sends out a survey every week to see what clients need, so they can continue to stay independents and on their own. Every client has also received a face mask, compliments of Preble County Public Health and Susi Q Designs.
“Thank you for your donations, they have been very helpful. The longer we are ‘out,’ I worry about meeting the needs of our seniors. Therefore, continued requests may come,” Executive Director Shelley Ratliff said.
According to Marketing Manager Holly Steele, “Before COVID-19, PCCOA was delivering 145 meals a day on average. The increase has been funded through two different grants.”
•The COVID-19 Response Fund for Greater Dayton – This funding will help fund two additional meals for the month of April for Meals on Wheels clients. PCCOA is providing three meals per day, one hot, one chilled, and one shelf stable.
•Meals on Wheels COVID-19 Response Fund grant – This will help pay for the additional costs of drivers salaries that PCCOA needed to add to provide the extra meals.
According to Ratliff, these grants will only help through the month of April. PCCOA is going to need more donations to help with food and delivery costs.
“It’s important that we keep our most vulnerable population, our seniors, safe, healthy, nourished, and engaged in their own homes during these times,” Steele said.
Everyday, Ratliff posts a “Jelly with Shelley” video which keeps the community up to date with the changes and updated information relative to PCCOA.
Steele explained, “Since most of us are not able to get out and go to the center, it is the best we can do to bring the senior center to the people, keeping them informed and engaged! Since ‘Wine with DeWine’ and ‘Snackin’ with Acton’ are a thing, it only makes since that ‘Jelly with Shelley’ will catch on too.”
Ratliff added, “For those of you that follow our Facebook page, we appreciate that you are listening and watching. On behalf of our seniors, thank you for helping to keep them safe and in their own homes.”
A service called Phone-A-Friend is also available for seniors to help them feel connected and talk about resources. Interested parties are asked to call PCCOA at 937-456-4947 and ask for Cheryl. There are licensed professionals ready to help.
“We implemented our Phone-A-Friend right off the bat to help seniors navigate through all the changes that were happening on a daily basis. As we age change isn’t always easy, so it seemed having resources in place to help make these changes happen with as much grace and ease as possible were important,” Steele said. “I remember getting a call from a senior with a heartfelt and compassionate ‘Thank You.’ This woman had received a call from our licensed resourced professional and was very pleased to have been checked in on and know that she could talk to someone if and when she needed to.”
PCCOA has approximately 17 staff members who are essential workers and continue to show up every day to the senior center to help make the 250 meal prep and delivery happen. The kitchen staff works tirelessly preparing more meals than usual. The home delivered meal drivers are delivering more than the daily meal to ensure that seniors are healthy and well.
“The additional staff are doing an amazing job at shifting, changing and sustaining all the they do at the senior center for the Preble County seniors as needed to ensure that our seniors art staying home, safe, healthy and fed,” Steele said. “We are so blessed and grateful for our essential staff that have been working tirelessly to make this happen. Thank you Shelley Ratliff, Stacey Fullmer, Wanda Winter, Rita Kimball, Dave Holp, Cheryl Koeller, Gary Vest, Shirley Cottingim, Amy Taulbee, Bev Fields, Dinah Welch, Cody White, Peggy Obermyer, Rosa Corey, Karen Roberts, James Daugherty, Penny Rader, Carla Griffith, Traci Kurtz, Murray Mann, Mark Coning, Tim Burkett, Jeff Beneke, Rose Schleiger and Cheryl Cruze.”
Donations and Volunteers
Donations and volunteers are always welcomed. If interested in volunteering, call Ratliff at 937-456-4947.
“For those of you that have the means and are willing to make a financial donations, you can find us online at: https://prebleseniorcenter.org/support/donate/. Please choose the program you want to donate to and we will see that your contribution is used accordingly. Thank You,” Ratliff said.
Message to the Community
“Stay home, stay safe. Call us at 937-456-4947 if you have a need and we will see that it gets done. We are getting through this together,” Steele said.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH