Lynnwood-based Homage Senior Services, which serves Snohomish County seniors, will receive $140,000 in grant funding from Kaiser Permanente to help ensure seniors don’t go hungry during the pandemic.
Kaiser announced Monday that it has pledged more than $500,000 in a More Than Meals program to several senior service organizations that provide delivered, nutritious meal assistance for seniors in Washington state. This support will help ensure seniors will not go hungry during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Before COVID-19, Homage served approximately 600 low-income seniors and people with disabilities weekly,” said Kaiser spokesperson Linnae Riesen. “It is serving significantly more people now, and the number is expected to double by the fall and winter.”
In addition to providing more meals for seniors, the funding will support a new software system that Homage is creating to help manage the complex logistics of operating programs at scale, across the county, helping to ensure that seniors are able to remain in their homes for as long as possible, Riesen said. Funding is also being used to help develop a new community meals program to combat food insecurity in the wake of the closures of senior centers around Snohomish County.
Since early March, Kaiser Permanente has been conducting phone outreach to its senior members to make sure their health care needs are being met and to provide resources and referrals for other basic living needs they may have.
“Food security is a critical health need, and we know our older adults are particularly vulnerable and isolated at this time,” said Cindy Burdick, MD, medical director, Medicare and Medicaid for Kaiser Permanente Washington. “The More Than Meals program amplifies our commitment to keeping seniors healthy and fit by providing nutritious meals along with an exercise band and instructions to work out at home, as well as ongoing health tips and resources.”
Other agencies receiving additional funding from Kaiser Permanente Washington to ensure ongoing meal support for existing clients and expansion to new clients include Sound Generations, serving King County, Northshore Senior Center, serving north King County, Senior Services for South Sound, serving Thurston and Mason counties, and Greater Spokane County Meals on Wheels serving Spokane County.