It has been a trying winter for many people and organizations in west-central PA, and the Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging Inc is no exception. Although the agency prepared Meals on Wheels and More consumers for the winter months by stocking their shelves with Blizzard Boxes, numerous days of inclement weather soon depleted the supply. As in previous years, when the supply of Blizzard Boxes has been used up, the agency replenished the supply by delivering another round of boxes.
This year has proved to be one for the record books! The recent snow and ice storms and sub-zero temperatures, forced the agency to cancel regular meal delivery on four separate occasions, resulting in the need to deliver an unprecedented third round of blizzard boxes to all Meals on Wheels and More consumers.
When the CCAAA makes the difficult decision to cancel our regular hot meal delivery routes, the true meaning of “and More” is revealed. It is our policy for staff to call each consumer to notify them of the cancelation and to check on their well-being. If the staff are unable to reach a consumer, they call the consumer’s family members or emergency contacts to verify the consumer is ok. If no contact can be made, staff will physically go to the consumer’s house to check on them.
During the most recent winter storm, as staff was calling all the consumers to notify them of the cancelled service, one consumer could not be reached. After three unsuccessful calls, the care manager contacted the consumer’s granddaughter who checked and found her grandmother at home but without power and heat. The family would not have known that their relative was without power and heat as early as they did had the Agency’s staff not contacted them. The family was able to take care of the situation.
While on the phone with another consumer, staff learned that the person had power and heat, but had not been able to get out for groceries and had only a half loaf of bread in the house. Staff arranged for an emergency box of food and a couple frozen meals to immediately be taken out to the consumer.
On an average day, the Agency serves approximately 550 meals. Although the task to call each individual may take several hours, examples such as those listed above continue to exemplify the Agency’s mission to provide the highest quality health and human services to older citizens of Clearfield County. It also explains why our meal program is called “Meals on Wheels and More.”
For more information about the Blizzard Box project, Meals on Wheels & More, and other services provided by the Agency, visit our Web site or call 814-765-2696. The Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging, Inc. is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation established in 1977 as the designated agency to plan, pool, and coordinate a comprehensive array of information and services for people over 60 in Clearfield County.