The Florida Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA), which promotes the well-being, safety, and independence of Florida’s seniors, announced on Wednesday that they would be partnering with a state agency and a restaurant association to provide food and support for elderly people impacted by the outbreak of coronavirus in the state.
The partnership, which includes the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) and the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA), will allow the needs of the business community and workers in the restaurant business to be matched with the needs of the elderly and meal delivery services.
“By working together, our agencies will be able to ensure all of our 5.5 million seniors have safe access to food,” said Richard Prudom, Secretary for the Florida Department of Elder Affairs. “Governor DeSantis has helped to facilitate this process and allowed restaurants and food establishments to become emergency meal vendors for Florida’s seniors who are homebound or self-isolating for protection. We are in constant communication with seniors and our senior-care providers around the state and we know this action will greatly increase the flexibility of our communities to access meal delivery.”
As meal sites for seniors close around the state to prevent the spread of COVID19, the collaboration between state agencies and the restaurant association will provide one more layer of food reassurance to our seniors.
“Restaurants are the very fabric of communities across Florida,” said Carol Dover, President & CEO of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association. “Providing jobs, serving customers, and creating memorable experiences for guests are key in our hospitality industry, but our restaurants contribute so much more than that. Ensuring that older Floridians have access to food during this unprecedented time is important to our restaurant owners and employees, and we commend Governor DeSantis, Secretary Prudom, and Secretary Beshears for working with our to industry to help serve those in need.”
DOEA’s 11 Area Agencies on Aging throughout the state will work with local volunteers and other local service providers to ensure meal delivery to Florida’s most vulnerable population. Meal delivery by volunteers and other organizations will also combat social isolation of seniors by providing the simple interaction of food delivery to the doorstep of an elder.