The Enumclaw Senior Center will be receiving a $10,000 grant from the King County Council’s emergency supplemental budget to fight against COVID-19.
King County Council Vice Chair Reagan Dunn made the announcement in a May 12 press release.
The Senior Center will be using the funds to continue its free meal delivery service to Plateau seniors. This program was already in place before the novel coronavirus came calling, but it has greatly expanded due to the fact that seniors are no longer able to visit the center for a hot lunch on an almost-daily basis.
“The Enumclaw Senior Center provides irreplaceable care every day to some of the most vulnerable seniors in King County,” Dunn said in the release. “During this pandemic, their meal delivery service has become even more valuable by making it easier for seniors to shelter in place. I’m glad to help provide the funding to allow this service to continue.”
According to Jobyna Nickum, the senior center’s executive director, seniors are delivered between five to seven free frozen meals every Tuesday, with the goal being they’d then have at least one free meal every day for the whole week. Although the meals are frozen, they come with a quart of milk, fresh fruit and vegetables, a bowl of homemade soup and homemade pasta salad.
Between 75 and 90 seniors receive meals every week, and nearly 4,500 meals have been served since the pandemic started.
However, the senior center also drops off between 60 and 80 coolers of meals to both the Mt. Villa mobile home park and the Golden Elms Senior Apartments. These meals aren’t counted in the above total.
The grant money came from the Veterans, Seniors, and Human Service’s Housing Stability fund, which provides a total of $500,000 to support projects or organizations that help vulnerable populations maintain safe housing within their community. These funds are aimed at diverting people from experiencing homelessness.
“Many rural seniors in South King County already face financial challenges to remaining independent in their own homes, even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Nickum said. “During these unprecedented times, we want our seniors with limited incomes to not have to choose between paying for food or for shelter.”