Sacramento County established a new program during COVID-19 to bring meals to seniors who are facing food scarcity. Dine At Home Sacramento, a partnership between Sacramento County
, local restaurants and the Area 4 Agency on Aging (A4AA)
, is proud to announce that as of Sep. 11, 15 participating restaurants have served 62,911 meals to 819 seniors across Sacramento County.
“All involved in Dine At Home Sacramento have worked incredibly hard and have been creative and adaptive in meeting challenges along the way,” said Michelle Callejas, Sacramento County Director of Child, Family and Adult Services. “This program has allowed our seniors to quarantine at home while receiving nutritional meals and has also provided economic stimulation to at least a few of our many local restaurants.”
Sacramento County Adult Protective Services
offers access to programs such as Meals on Wheels
, and the Brown Bag Food Program
where eligible seniors are provided hot meals, canned foods, fresh vegetables and bread. However, earlier this year when calls increased related to food needs from seniors in our community, A4AA began coordinating with a restaurant to fulfill orders to seniors who were in process for receiving Meals on Wheels. A4AA has expertise in operationalizing meal delivery programs and the agency utilizes a dietician to work with restaurants to establish nutritional menus for seniors.
The approach lead to the new program of getting food to more seniors faster and boosting the restaurant industry. Sacramento County Child, Family and Adult Services
is proud to have implemented this innovative new program with A4AA. Dine At Home Sacramento partners with restaurants in unincorporated areas and the cities of Galt, Folsom and Isleton that expressed interest in a meals program partnership. Through the partnership, the restaurants have received more than $1,572,775 of revenue ($25 a meal for preparation and delivery).
Using restaurants in these locations allows Sacramento County to reach more seniors in need of food while helping restaurants hire back employees and generate revenue.
Currently, this program has reached capacity. If the program is able to accept new applicants in the future, Sacramento County will share an update on how to apply.
“There are several benefits to our program, which is why we chose to pursue it,” said Michelle Callejas, Sacramento County Director of Child, Family and Adult Services. “The county was able to be more flexible with eligibility criteria, so we can serve more seniors facing food insecurity who might not be eligible for the state’s new delivery program or our other programs. Through our partnership with A4AA, the goal is to expand the number and types of local restaurants participating to serve more meals by the end of the year.”
“The program used roughly $3.5 million of CARES Act funding the county received to serve seniors,” said Ruth MacKenzie, Senior and Adult Services Division Manager for the Department of Child, Family and Adult Services. “Sacramento County, Child Family and Adult Services went to the Board of Supervisors on September 22 requesting authority to expand the contract with A4AA by $3.4 million, this will allow us to increase the number of recipients and continue providing meals to our seniors through the holidays.”
Area 4 Agency on Aging (A4AA)
Agency on Aging/Area 4 is a seven-county planning and service area for senior services, funded under the Older Americans Act. One of 33 area agencies in California, designated by the State to develop, coordinate, and fund programs designed to help older persons maintain their health and independence. Agency on Aging/Area 4 (AAA4) is in a Joint Powers Agreement with the counties of Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba to provide a comprehensive and coordinated system of services for persons 60 years of age and over. As an area agency, AAA4 is the focal point for services for older individuals. As a funding agency, AAA4 awards contractual grants for nutrition, supportive services, caregiver programs, health promotion, elder abuse prevention, and other programs designed to meet specific needs of older persons within the community. As an administrative agency, they monitor, evaluate, and document the program and fiscal performance of every contracted service provider. As a planning agency, AAA4 conducts needs assessments, determines priorities, and develops a four year Area Plan. And as an advocacy agency, they conduct public hearings, provide testimony before local and State governmental commissions, committees, and legislative bodies, and collaborate with other agencies/organizations to develop and expand services to meet local needs.