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Published 4/4/2020
12:49am

Seniors Can Get Meals Safely in Michigan  During COVID-19 Outbreak

State wants to increase public awareness of meals program

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Pixabay

Michigan recently received additional federal dollars to help provide meals to older adults as the state responds to the COVID-19 pandemic and wants to make seniors aware of food delivery programs.

These programs – available to Michigan residents over age 60 – provide meals through home delivery and pick up services during the current pandemic.

The need for these services – particularly home-delivered and packaged meals – has increased as community measures to slow transmission of COVID-19 have closed meal sites and left many family caregivers unable to assist older loved ones.

“COVID-19 is a threat to Michiganders, particularly older adults who are most vulnerable to complications related to the virus,” said Dr. Alexis Travis, senior deputy director of the Aging & Adult Services Agency at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). “Nutrition services are a lifeline for the nearly 100,000 older adults we serve through these programs. We are pleased to have additional resources to ensure more older adults in need here in Michigan have access to meals during this time.”

Seniors who need extra support at this time can now sign up for assistance, including meal delivery, delivery of non-perishable food items, and daily wellness-check calls, through the MDHHS coronavirus website.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, signed into law on March 18, provides the additional funding for the nutrition services programs authorized by the Older Americans Act of 1965.

Michigan received just over $7.5 million to fund meals for older adults. This includes more than $5 million for home-delivered meals and more than $2.5 million for congregate meals.

In addition to meals, Older Americans Act programs provide a wide range of services, such as help with bathing and dressing, rides to doctors’ offices, education on managing chronic illnesses, support for family caregivers, and much more. Provided by a network of community-based organizations, such as Area Agencies on Aging, local community and senior centers, faith-based organizations, and other non-profit service providers, these programs work together to help millions of older adults each year stay healthy and continue to live independently.

Funding has been provided to states, territories, and tribes for subsequent allocation to local Area Agencies on Aging, which fund meal providers. Grant amounts are determined by population-based formulas defined in the Older Americans Act.

Older adults who need assistance can request help through the MDHHS coronavirus website or contact their local area agency on aging.

For more information about COVID-19, please visit Michigan.gov/coronavirus. For more information about the Older Americans Act nutrition programs, please contact your local area agency on aging.

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Update 4/5/2020

Benteler Automotive Corporation in West Michigan will lay off 1,000 employees.  The company notified the state of the temporary layoffs due to global impacts on the supply chain.

Cease and desist letters were sent to three non-essential Upper Peninsula businesses for remaining open when only essential businesses should be open.  Auto Credit Center, Grow Masters Indoor & Outdoor Gardening Supplies and Holy Smokes Tobacco Shop, all in Menominee County, were hand-delivered the letters by Michigan State Police.

Michigan State University is launching virtual courses aimed at anyone interested in gardening.  The Cabin Fever Conversations series features a different guest speaker each week.

Meijer is now conducting health-screenings of employees before each shift.  The West Michigan-based retailer joins other companies taking extra steps to keep employees and customers safe.

The Treasury Department has announced that Social Security recipients will automatically receive the direct payment being made to Americans as part of the CARES Act, Congressman John Moolenaar said, noting that he supported the initiative. Social Security recipients who normally do not file a tax return, do not need to file one to receive the payment.

Lansing Police are asking for help locating a missing teen.  Demasio Nino Perez is 14 years old, 6'1 and 155 pounds, police say, and was reported as a runaway/missing person last seen in the 500 block of Riley Street in Lansing.  He was wearing black and grey sweatpants and a grey t-shirt.  Call 517-483-4600 with information.

Saginaw parks and playgrounds have closed to vehicle access effective immediately.  Anyone wishing to utilize a city park will have to enter on foot until further notice.

The MHSAA has cancelled the remainder of the 2019-2020 winter and sports seasons.  This marks the first year since 1942-1943 that finals will not be played.  World War II forced the cancellation of many final sporting events.

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