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Community steps up: Meals on Wheels deliveries to resume


Thanks in large part to community volunteers, as well as Council in Aging of Central Oregon staff, delivery of Meals on Wheels will resume on Thursday in Bend, La Pine and Sisters after several days of service interruption due to Central Oregon’s heavy snowstorm.

Council on Aging staff have been checking on the well-being and safety of more than a hundred homebound seniors who rely on meal delivery and social connectedness through the Meals on Wheels program and no issues have been reported. Seniors have been receiving food from friends and family, as well as utilizing emergency food supplies provided ahead of the winter season.

Thanks to a joint effort by Council on Aging staff, volunteers and community members, multiple meals including fresh fruit and vegetables will be delivered to each Meals on Wheels recipient Thursday.

The Council on Aging has received multiple inquiries by members of the public asking how they can help homebound older adults during the snowstorm.

In one case, the Council on Aging was able to use its Facebook page to coordinate help for a woman in Redmond who was stuck inside her home and had run out of food, medication and pet supplies. A local four-wheeler group was able to step in and send a member to assist the woman in getting to the store.

“The community response and willingness to help homebound older adults has been inspirational,” said Susan Rotella, executive director of the Council on Aging of Central Oregon. “We know Central Oregonians love their neighbors, and are ready to come together to support them in times of need. It is truly heartwarming.”

Council on Aging staff spent Wednesday at the Bend Senior Center preparing fresh salads for Meals on Wheels recipients and coordinating volunteers to deliver the meals on Thursday.

A number of community members with off-road vehicles will be assisting in Bend on Thursday, driving Meals on Wheels volunteers and digging out pathways so home deliveries can be made. Volunteers are anxious to visit with clients, conduct well-being checks and provide social stimulation.

The Council on Aging offices will reopen on Thursday, and staff are preparing to field calls from older adults in need of services. The senior lunch at the Bend Senior Center has been cancelled on Thursday.

For updates, follow the Council on Aging’s Facebook page at or check local media.

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