Community Cares will match up to $10,000 to pay for the family-style meals to those in Putnam County most affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). It is working with the United Way of Westchester and Putnam and the Putnam County Business Council to provide restaurant-prepared meals to Putnam County residents who are senior citizens, disabled, or who are immune-compromised as well as first responders and healthcare workers. The efforts will support the local economy by using Putnam County food establishments, such as restaurants, delis, and grocery stores.
“It is during times of crisis that Putnam County has a history of coming together and providing for one another,” said Amy Sayegh, founder of Community Cares. “This project allows us to protect those populations who are vulnerable to the effects of the Coronavirus while also providing a way to show our appreciation to those working on the front lines and put money back into our local economy.”
The Putnam County Business Council has engaged the participation of food establishments from each community in the county. United Way of Westchester and Putnam will be identifying eligible recipients through its 211 Helpline and then coordinating the prepared meals with the recipients and the volunteer delivery drivers.
“Communities rely on their local businesses, especially restaurants, to support their causes throughout the year,” said Jennifer Maher, chairwoman of the Putnam County Business Council. “With all the restrictions this public health emergency has put on all of us, this is a great way to give back to those restaurants that have supported our communities for so long and help our residents. We have to keep any industry going that we can while not jeopardizing the public’s health.”
In addition to working with the restaurants, these organizations are also recruiting volunteers to help deliver the meals.
“By working together we can have a greater impact on the Putnam County residents who need it, but we need the help of the public too,” said United Way of Westchester and Putnam CEO Tom Gabriel. “We are also looking for volunteers to deliver meals. You will not be in contact with the recipients, so we remain in line with the public health guidelines.” The deliveries will be dropped outside of the recipient’s door.
To be eligible for the meals, the recipient must be one of the following: a senior citizen, disabled, actively seeking treatment for chronic or terminal disease, a first responder–law enforcement, firefighter, EMS worker; or a healthcare worker. Verification will be required to ensure the standards of the program. There are no income restrictions for this program. The meals are for the household of the eligible recipient.
Those interested in receiving meals can call 211.
Donations can be done through the Community Cares website, www.communitycares.org, or on its Facebook page.
Restaurants in Putnam County, which are interested in providing family-style meals-to-go for a set price, or individuals who want to be a volunteer delivery driver should email firstname.lastname@example.org.