Senior center van is parked and has its door open to extend its ramp on the pavement

The Senior Resource Center in Douglas County has been increasing food delivery services as a result of the novel coronavirus.

Amidst the coronavirus outbreak, the Senior Resource Center and community members have aided in the crisis by delivering food and supplies to the elderly.

Megan Poindexter, the executive director of the Senior Resource Center in Douglas County, said it provides three food delivery programs and each one meets different individual needs.

Poindexter said the Senior Resource Center will pick up online grocery orders made through the grocery stores website. They can also take the senior’s order by phone and submit it to the grocery store on the senior’s behalf. But, Poindexter said this is very a popular option, resulting in long wait times for customers, so seniors shouldn’t wait until the last minute to put their orders in. She said orders last week submitted on Wednesday weren’t getting filled until Saturday.

“Be ahead of the curve with placing an order so that there’s time to get the order and get it delivered,” Poindexter said. 

Meals on Wheels has temporarily suspended its services until April 2, according to Poindexter, so, the Senior Resource Center has partnered with Just Food, a food bank in Douglas County, to send out food boxes to those in need. 

In addition, she said they’re continuing to keep up their program that supports seniors by providing them rides to and from the grocery store. At the same time, locals have been posting on social media offering their services to seniors. 

Claire Neugebauer, a local graphic designer, posted on Facebook last week that she would deliver basic food and supplies to seniors in Lawrence. She said she is currently keeping an eye on two older couples in case things gets worse. 

“If you are healthy and able to [deliver food and supplies], offer any sort of assistance you can even if it is something super small like that,” Neugebauer said. 

Poindexter agreed with the sentiment and said there are a lot of things you can do to help seniors and others affected by the crisis. 

“Check in with our own neighbors to see what we can do to help them,” Poindexter said. “The more we can take care of the people in our own neighborhoods the fewer more vulnerable, or at-risk, seniors are going to need the additional assistance from social service agencies.”

Additionally, she said people can support seniors, the Senior Resource Center and local organizations helping in this cause by donating. 

If you would like to learn more about the Senior Resource Center or contact them, call 785-842-0543 or go to their website.