At Risk From Coronavirus And Running Low on Food, Tampa Bay Seniors Get Help From Emergency Program
Residents at Creekside Manor received four prepared meals in addition to fresh strawberries on Tuesday. (Chris Urso/Tampa Bay Times)
CLEARWATER — Maggie Lauer hasn’t been outside since February.
A retired nurse, she understands the risk of being around other people. The chronic obstructive pulmonary disease she suffers from puts her in a high-risk category.
But it hasn’t been easy for her or about 100 seniors at Creekside Manor who have been asked to stay confined in their apartments and restrict outside trips. The Clearwater independent living home is trying to keep the vulnerable population free of the coronavirus.
There’s no bingo, no cards night, no cooking classes. A community pantry stocked with items donated from food banks had to be closed because it relied on visitors and residents congregated there.
Last week, staffers at the apartment complex began to worry that residents were getting low on food. Most do not have their own transportation and are on fixed incomes.
Help soon arrived from an emergency food program put together by Feeding Tampa Bay, the region’s largest food rescue and distribution organization. Last week it delivered about 2,000 prepared meals to a handful of senior communities including Creekside. This week, it has expanded to 8,000 meals and is serving about a dozen communities mostly in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.
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