A Letter from Diane Slezak: AgeOptions President and CEO
We are nine months into the pandemic and despite the fact that it seems like we should be back to business as usual, we are far from it. The work we’re doing with our partners is critical.
This is a time like no other in our lives. Despite the challenges we face every day, we are proud to play a part in meeting the needs of older adults, caregivers and our communities with the support of our Board of Directors, Advisory Council, funded agencies and partners. Rest assured we will not stop working to provide a full array of services to all of our communities with a special focus on low income minority communities.
We are overwhelmed by the support we have received. Our donors and partners continue to support our efforts and that has translated into increased support and resources for older adults. We have had to change the ways our programs look and run but we have continued to serve older adults throughout the pandemic.
This is the moment for extra effort, for going the extra mile, and I would like to recognize our employees. At a time when all of us are busy managing challenging personal and family situations, their commitment and discipline has never wavered. I am so proud of their dedication and creativity.
We have provided more than 1.3 million meals to older adults since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March. This includes more than 180,000 weekly Top Box deliveries with fresh items for preparing meals. All home-delivered meal sites have remained open and have delivered more than 620,000 meals to older adults since April 2.
And congregate meal sites are providing meals, with 97% of sites providing more than 178,000 catered to-go meals to older adults since April 2, and the remaining 3% of sites distributing shelf stable meals.
We are AgeOptions. We are resilient. We have been doing this work for nearly 45 years and have seen some challenging moments but I strongly believe that we’re going to get through this together. I am proud, inspired and thankful by the way AgeOptions in collaboration with our partners has risen to this challenge – with flexibility, resilience, courage and a caring heart.
Please take care of yourselves and your loved ones. If you have a neighbor who is isolated at home, please reach out with a phone call to chat. It is so important as the isolation continues and the daylight diminishes. We cannot do this work without you and we need your continued support. We are thankful for the opportunity to Be the Difference in the fight to save lives.
With respect and gratitude,