Alameda County partnered with GoGoGrandparent and local restaurants to deliver meals to older adults through the Great Plates Delivered, or GPD, program.
This federal, state and county-funded program will provide a minimum of two nutritious meals a day to qualifying county residents on weekdays, according to an Alameda County press release. This collaboration aims to serve older adults affected by COVID-19 and shelter-in-place orders.
GoGoGrandparent is a service focused on helping people live longer in their homes through mobility, grocery and medication management, as well as meal delivery, according to co-founder Justin Boogaard.
“Enter COVID — it just wiped out people’s routines and their plans,” Boogaard said. “For many of our clients, eating a diet that’s varied in nutrients can be very difficult.”
The county program does not include the city of Oakland, as there is an Oakland-specific GPD program already in place.
The GPD program was established by California Gov. Gavin Newsom May 29. It is designed for adults, ages 60 years and older, living alone or with another eligible individual at high risk for COVID-19, as well as for those who are unable to shop for meals independently.
To be eligible, program participants cannot partake in other nutrition programs, and must be within an annual income range of $24,980 to $74,940 for a one-person household, or $33,821 to $101,460 for a two-person household.
Alameda County spokesperson Sylvia Soublet added that there are other resources for those who do not meet the requirements for GPD, which include Meals on Wheels and CalFresh.
“The Alameda County Social Services Agency (ACSSA) wants to ensure that older adults have access to nutritional food resources to help keep them healthy throughout the pandemic,” Soublet said in an email.
Participating restaurants that seniors can order food from are selected by the county and must meet certain standards, which include being a small local business, according to Soublet. Restaurants must also meet volume and nutritional standards, prioritize local jobs as well as worker health and safety and, if possible, source local produce.
Sandeep Kumar, owner of The Banana Garden, a participating Dublin restaurant, said businesses have been struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the GPD program is helping generate revenue and jobs. Kumar added that his restaurant has had a positive experience with the program.
GoGoGrandparent partnered with Lyft, Uber, DoorDash and Uber Eats to deliver the food.
Boogaard added that the GPD program will have a long-lasting impact on GoGoGrandparent in terms of how it supports its members in new and creative ways.
“The immediate impact is extremely fulfilling,” Boogaard said. “We’re helping people get meals that otherwise would be putting themselves at risk or their community at risk if they were to do that themselves.”
According to Boogaard, GPD is set to expire June 10, but he hopes the program is extended.
Contact Mela Seyoum and Vani Suresh at [email protected].