Amid outbreak, Meals on Wheels is changing the way food is delivered

Updated: Mar. 10, 2020 at 4:23 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - New protocols have been implemented at Meals on Wheels Lanakila Pacific due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The non-profit serves about 300 seniors and home-bound residents every day on Oahu, providing not just nutrition but also socialization.

Meals on Wheels Lanakila Pacific
Meals on Wheels Lanakila Pacific(None)

The new practice requires a 6-foot gap between the volunteer and senior.

Lori Lau, director of the organization, understands the change might not be easy for some.

She the distancing is “a bubble, if you will, just so that we can make sure there’s no transmission back and forth.”

Meals on Wheels sent flyers out to residents ahead of the changes.

To maintain the distance, the food will now be left outside the door, in bags, on a sanitized mat.

If the senior needs assistance carrying the meals in or putting the food away, the resident will have to step back to keep the 6-foot barrier while the volunteer goes in to help.

The two can still have conversation as long as there’s still the gap.

Lau admits, it’s not ideal. Some seniors only have visits every five days and the lack of aloha, in the form of a hug or pat on the back, will be missed.

But Lau says it’s necessary with the spread of the virus and the danger it poses to the elderly.

Another change: The organization started sanitizing the equipment even more than they normally do.

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