Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

City Launches Senior Meal Emergency Response Program to Help Both Seniors and Restaurants

Photo from City of Los Angeles Department of Aging

With senior citizens and restaurants two of the groups particularly hard hit by the COVID-19 crisis, the City of Los Angeles has launched a new Senior Meal Emergency Response Program aimed at helping both people who need food and the businesses that provide it…by paying the restaurants to provide free meals to seniors in need.  According to the program’s website, while the current Safer at Home restrictions keep people at home, they may also restrict food access for vulnerable seniors, and “without easy access to food, there have been a growing number of food-insecure seniors…who are at higher risk for developing serious complications from a COVID-19 illness.”

Meanwhile, says the program’s website, “The hospitality and restaurant industries have also been hard hit by the crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought travel to a standstill, causing massive job and revenue losses as hotel kitchens and restaurants are temporarily restricted from serving food in their premises. Both of these industries employ thousands of workers in L.A. across income levels and immigration statuses. These workers represent additional populations made vulnerable during this pandemic.”

So the new program aims to help both groups by putting struggling restaurants to work cooking for seniors in need.

To be eligible, seniors must:

  • Be residents of the City of Los Angeles
  • Be 65 years of age or older, or 60-64 with an underlying medical condition

Applications are subject to verification by the City of Los Angeles and program partners. In order to receive meals, applicants will be asked if to share their information with program partners to ensure accurate meal preparation and delivery.

Seniors who qualify may be eligible to receive up to 10 home-delivered meals per week during the COVID-19 crisis.

To find out whether you or a senior you know is eligible to receive meals, click here…or call (213) 263-5226.

Participating restaurants will be required to produce meals that meet senior nutritional guidelines, can be transported easily and safely via vehicle, and can be stored in the senior’s refrigerator or freezer for a few days and reheated or eaten at room temperature. Guidelines for meal preparation, packaging, labeling, and transport are available here.

To find out if your restaurant is eligible to participate, click here.

Please allow at least 72 hours for eligibility confirmation. The city also cautions that “you may not receive a response if you are not eligible or there is not sufficient demand.”

Also, please note that LA County has created a similar “Great Plates” program for seniors who live outside LA city limits.  See the link for more information on the county program.


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Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - with deep roots in both the Sycamore Square and West Adams Heights-Sugar Hill neighborhoods. She spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and has been writing for the Buzz since 2015.

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