Miami-Dade Extends Temporary Emergency Meals Service for Seniors

Miami-Dade Extends Temporary Emergency Meals Service for Seniors

In light of the rising positivity rate of COVID-19 and hospitalizations, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez announced Monday he is extending the senior meals program for 30 days.

On March 16, 2020, Miami-Dade County launched a temporary emergency seniors meals program in an effort to help elderly residents stay safer at home and protect this most vulnerable group from the COVID-19 pandemic and have served more than 8,000,000 meals since the program’s inception. Last month, Mayor Gimenez announced the emergency program would begin to wind down. At the time of the announced transition of the County’s meals program, which was to end later this week, the infection rate for the virus had been tamped down to around 5 percent and businesses were reopening under New Normal rules.

“Today our positivity rate is more than 20 percent, we are seeing community spread of the virus and our hospitalizations are rising,” Mayor Gimenez said. “For those reasons it’s imperative that we extend the program for 30 days so we can protect our most vulnerable population, our seniors, who should make every effort to stay safer at home.”

With more than 70,000 seniors still enrolled, a 17% decrease from the highest enrollment peak in May, the Community Action and Human Services Department will continue its coordination with local and state partners to ensure that state-funded providers and health care plans are serving enrolled residents, eliminate possible duplication of services and develop innovative alternative strategies to meet the needs of this population.

“No one in the County program today will be left without a meal, no one will go hungry,” Mayor Gimenez said. “We are committed to ensure our seniors remain safe. The need to continue the County program in its current form past mid-August will be re-evaluated as warranted by public health indicators.

“The faster everyone in our community follows the rules, wears a mask indoors and outside, practices social distancing and stays home as much as possible, we can tamp down the COVID-19 curve and save lives.”

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