The ongoing coronavirus pandemic will impact services to seniors and needy in Barton and Pawnee counties, said Linn Hogg, director of RSVP of Central Kansas. Her office oversees Meals on Wheels and the Medical Transportation Program.
“Meals on Wheels will continue as long as we are allowed to continue,” she said. MOW uses the Great Bend Senior Center kitchen and, although the center is closed, the kitchen is open for now.
For five days per week, MOW provides meals to those age 60 and over who are unable to shop, or cook for themselves. It delivers 87 meals in Great Bend, 13 in Hoisington and 15 in Ellinwood.
Another factor for MOW is the number of folks who deliver the food, Hogg said. It takes a small army of volunteers to make this happen, and many of these are older and in the high-risk category for Covid-19.
“Our volunteers are encouraged to be mindful of their health, and the health of their clients,” she said. They are practicing social distancing, hand washing and other steps recommended by health officials.
“This is a service we want to continue,” Hogg said. It provides meals, and important social interaction and wellness checks for the recipients
As for medial transportation, since Great Bend in-town trips use Senior Center buses, these are down. Already scheduled out-of-town trips are on, but no new appointments are not being taken.
In addition, the American Association of Retired Persons free tax prep service offered through RSVP has been canceled.
All suspensions will be revisited April 1. They could be extended at that time.
Although access to the RSVP office is still available through the back door of the WorkForce One center, at 1025 Main in Great Bend, Hogg is discouraging in-person visits. For more information, call 620-792-1614.