A Grand Ledge nonprofit that focuses on training the unemployed and underemployed is teaming up with Lansing-based health insurer Physicians Health Plan and Sparrow Health System to safely deliver meals and groceries to vulnerable Mid-Michiganders, including older residents and those with compromised immune systems, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Feed the Vulnerable, a program managed by Great Lakes Empowerment Services, has a commercial kitchen and trained workers operating under strict protocols that maintain a high level of sanitation for the preparation and delivery of hot meals to homes, reducing the risk of exposure to the coronavirus or other contagious diseases. Feed the Vulnerable can also deliver groceries safely with its specially–trained workers.
Sparrow and PHP have made a generous donation to support the program and boost its ability to deliver hot meals and groceries to Mid-Michigan individuals and families who are most at-risk for the virus. This support will allow Feed the Vulnerable to serve immediate as well as ongoing needs. The acute COVID-19 crisis may be waning, but the new reality of living with the constant threat of the virus is just beginning. Together, these organizations can serve the most in-need community members and continue to keep new infections as low as possible for the months to come.
“We know of many Sparrow patients and PHP members who are in need of home food delivery but worry about the cost and safety of such services. Feed the Vulnerable offers both accessibility and safety for seniors and other vulnerable homebound populations,” said Dennis Reese, President and Chief Executive Officer, Physicians Health Plan.
Those in need of sanitized meal and grocery delivery services can sign up by calling Feed the Vulnerable at 517.797.4410 or by visiting www.feedthevulnerable.org. Priority is for seniors, the medically vulnerable, and those with limited or no ability to leave home. Families or individuals with limited incomes may be eligible for the program through discounted pricing. The organization is also looking for volunteers and additional donations to subsidize the job training and food delivery.
“We have experience in training people for safe and sanitary food preparation, and this takes us a step further to help people in need to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission,” said Dennis Duchene, President of Great Lakes Empowerment Services. “We thought we had a good idea but needed support to make it happen. The folks at Sparrow and PHP have stepped in, and now we are ready to provide this important service.”
As the region’s only community-based and community-governed health system, Sparrow’s mission is to improve the health of the people of our region.
“We are pleased to partner with Feed the Vulnerable for this important service,” says James F. Dover, Sparrow Health System President and Chief Executive Officer, “and we encourage others to learn more and help with food safety and social distancing during this critical time and in the future.”
For more information or to volunteer, contact Feed the Vulnerable at 517.797.4410 or by visiting www.feedthevulnerable.org.