In reaction to the pandemic, EMBARK has coordinated with several nonprofits to help deliver meals to homebound senior citizens.
“We were already working on EMBARK with helping us bring seniors to food pantries. Those who don’t have transportation,” Cathy Nestlen with the Regional Food Bank said.
However, due to COVID-19, senior citizens, who once took busses or van services to food banks, are now being directed to stay home.
“We have different partners that help provide transportation services but a lot of – sometimes some of the funding or coordination of all those services occurs through EMBARK,” Michael Scroggins with EMBARK said.
EMBARK helps plan routes and connect the different agencies. For instance, Northeast OKC food pantry and Bonnie’s Helping Hands were connected with drivers from the Community Action Agency.
“That’s where EMBARK has come in to help us out, because we didn’t have enough people to help deliver in one day so now we have split our delivery route to once a week, different areas of the city,” Bonnie’s Helping Hands Director Linda Blair said.
Nestlen said the need has increased drastically during the pandemic.
“It’s so important for us to be able to reach these home bound seniors right now who aren’t able to go out to the congregate feeding sites that they’re used to going,” Nestlen said.
While EMBARK is still operating its regular bus services, the coordination for citywide deliveries provides a safer option for seniors.
Anyone in need of assistance can call 405-972-1111.