211 Hotline Used for Heroes and Homebound Hot Meals Delivery Program

   Several nonprofits serving the Putnam County communities have partnered together to support those most affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) by creating the Heroes and Homebound Hot Meals Delivery Program. Community Cares, the United Way of Westchester and Putnam and the Putnam County Business Council have coordinated their efforts to provide restaurant-prepared meals to Putnam County residents who are senior citizens, disabled, or who are immune-compromised as well as first responders and healthcare workers. The efforts will support the local economy by using Putnam County restaurants.

  “It is during times of crisis that Putnam County has a history of coming together and providing for one another,” said Amy Sayegh, founder of Community Cares. “This project allows us to protect those populations who are vulnerable to the effects of the Coronavirus while also providing a way to show our appreciation to those working on the front lines and put money back into our local economy.”

   Community Cares, a nonprofit that provides meals, house cleaning, and laundry services to families that are going through a medical crisis, will match up to $10,000 to pay for the family-style meals. The Putnam County Business Council has engaged the participation of restaurants from each community in the county. United Way of Westchester and Putnam will be identifying eligible recipients through its 211 Helpline and then coordinating the prepared meals with the recipients and the volunteer delivery drivers. 

   “Communities rely on their local businesses, especially restaurants, to support their causes throughout the year,” said Jennifer Mahopac, chairwoman of the Putnam County Business Council. “With all the restrictions this public health emergency has put on all of us, this is a great way to give back to those restaurants that have supported our communities for so long and help our residents.”

     In addition to working with the restaurants, these organizations are also recruiting volunteers to help deliver the meals. 

   “By working together we can have a greater impact on the Putnam County residents who need it, but we need the help of the public too,” said United Way of Westchester and Putnam CEO Tom Gabriel. “We are also looking for volunteers to deliver meals. You will not be in contact with the recipients, so we remain in line with the public health guidelines.” The deliveries will be dropped outside of the recipient’s door and gloves will also be provided.

   To be eligible for the meals, the recipient must be one of the following: a senior citizen, disabled, actively seeking treatment for chronic or terminal disease, a first responder–law enforcement, firefighter, EMS worker; or a healthcare worker. Verification will be required to ensure the standards of the program. There are no income restrictions for this program. The meals are for the household of the eligible recipient.

    Those interested in receiving meals can call 211.

    Donations can be done through the Community Cares website, communitycares.org, or on its Facebook page.

    Restaurants in Putnam County, which are interested in providing family-style meals-to-go for a set price, or individuals who want to be a volunteer delivery driver should email covid19@communitycares.org.