Ventura, Calif. – The Ventura County Area Agency on Aging (VCAAA), with the support of the County’s Executive Office, is again expanding food and meal resource programs in response to the COVID-19 crisis and the recent surge in cases.
When the COVID-19 crisis began in March, the VCAAA immediately responded to the needs of the more than 200,000 older adults and those living with a disability by expanding the services offered through Agency’s Senior Nutrition Program.
“We identified that safe access to food would become one of the biggest challenges for the populations we serve,” said Victoria Jump, Director of the VCAAA. “In less than a week we began operating a full-service emergency food pantry that provides food boxes with two weeks worth of meals.”
In addition, partnerships with World Central Kitchen, 34 locally owned restaurants, and 11 community meal sites made possible the ability to reach even more people with fresh, high quality meals. Since March, the VCAAA has served more than 2.7 million meals to Ventura County residents.
As the COVID-19 crisis continues, however, so does the need for older adults to shelter in place. Effective immediately, the VCAAA is working to reach any Ventura County resident 65 and older, those 60-64 who have an underlying health condition, and people with disabilities that have limited or no access to food resources.
“We recognize the great need that exists for this type of service,” Jump said. “We remain committed to reaching as many of Ventura County’s older adults and people with disabilities as possible during this difficult time.”
To qualify, individuals must meet the age requirements noted above and must be sheltering in place with no other safe access to food. The VCAAA continues to encourage family members and neighbors to safely connect with loved ones who may benefit from support with grocery shopping or other errands.
Those interested in applying should visit www.vcaaa.org or call (805) 477-7300.
The Ventura County Area Agency on Aging, an agency of the County of Ventura, is the principal agency in Ventura County charged with the responsibility to promote the development and implementation of a comprehensive coordinated system of care that enables older individuals, caregivers, and individuals with disabilities to live in a community-based setting and to advocate for the needs of those 60 years of age and older in the county, providing leadership and promoting citizen involvement in the planning process as well as in the delivery of services. Media inquiries may be directed to Jannette Jauregui, VCAAA Public Information Officer, at (805) 477-7306.