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Agency on Aging helps feed seniors

The Ventura County Area Agency on Aging is working to provide meals to Ventura County residents who have limited or no access to food resources.

The agency serves people in need who are 65 and older, ages 60 to 64 with an underlying health condition, or those with a disability.

To qualify for food assistance, people must meet the age requirements noted above and must be sheltering in place with no other safe access to food. The VCAAA continues to encourage family members and neighbors to safely connect with loved ones who may benefit from support with grocery shopping or other errands. 

Those interested in applying should visit www.vcaaa.org or call 805-477-7300. 

When the COVID-19 crisis began in March, the VCAAA immediately responded to the needs of the more than 200,000 older adults and those living with a disability by expanding the services offered through Agency’s Senior Nutrition Program. Since March, the agency has served more than 2.7 million meals to Ventura County residents. 

In the Ojai Valley, the Great Plates program for local seniors has been extended until further notice. There are currently 10 local restaurants and 200 participants in the program.

“We identified that safe access to food would become one of the biggest challenges for the populations we serve,” said Victoria Jump, director of theVCAAA.“In less than a week, we began operating a full-service emergency food pantry that provides food boxes with two weeks worth of meals.” 

In addition, partnerships withWorld Central Kitchen, 34 locally owned restaurants, and 11 community meal sites made possible the ability to reach even more people with fresh, high-quality meals. 

“We recognize the great need that exists for this type of service,” Jump said.“We remain committed to reaching as many of Ventura County’s older adults and people with dis- abilities as possible during this difficult time.” The Ventura County Area Agency on Aging, an agency of the county of Ventura, is the principal agency in Ventura County charged with the responsibility to promote the development and implementation of a comprehensive coordinated system of care that enables older individuals, caregivers, and individuals with disabilities to live in a community-based setting and to advocate for the needs of those 60 years of age and older in the county, providing leadership and promoting citizen involvement in the planning process as well as in the delivery of services.