Coronavirus update: Deliveries can continue during stay-at-home order

Frequent handwashing is key to preventing the spread of illness

UPDATED 3/25/20: Meals on Wheels programs in the Twin Cities are continuing service while monitoring the evolving Coronavirus/COVID-19 situation in Minnesota. IMPORTANT: Meals on Wheels volunteers may continue to make deliveries during Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz’s “stay-at-home” order. Meals on Wheels volunteers provide an essential service and do not need any documentation to be able to make their regular deliveries.

We’re taking the advice of public health professionals to proactively remind the people we serve, our volunteers and employees of the everyday steps they can take to prevent the spread of illness.

“Meals on Wheels is committed to the health and safety of the individuals that we serve and the volunteers it takes to deliver meals,” said Metro Meals on Wheels Executive Director Patrick Rowan. “In addition to our daily safe food handling practices, we have employed several proactive measures to protect everyone involved in the preparation and delivery of meals and limit the spread of illness.”

If you’re a volunteer..

We are asking that Meals on Wheels volunteers take the following steps to keep themselves and others safe from any illness, including coronavirus:

  • Stay home if you are not feeling well. Call your site coordinator as soon as possible so they can find a replacement.
  • Wash your hands before delivering meals.
  • Cover your cough by coughing into your elbow. If you can use a tissue, and then throw it in the trash.
  • Stay home for at least 24 hours after having a fever.

Additional guidance will be provided by your site coordinator. We’re also anticipating that we may need more volunteers in the event of a prolonged outbreak. Whether you are a new or current volunteer, you can sign up to be an on-call volunteer here in the event we face a shortage and need healthy volunteers.

See a full FAQ for volunteers here.

If you’re a current Meals on Wheels recipient…

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations are being upheld by neighborhood programs and we’re encouraging all volunteers to stay home if they are exhibiting symptoms similar to a cold or seasonal allergies. We are enforcing strict handwashing rules upon arrival to the Meals on Wheels delivery site and staff are thoroughly disinfecting all items that have been used on a route delivery, including the meal delivery bags.

If you have any questions or concerns, or if you would like to make changes to your delivery instructions, we encourage you to contact your local Meals on Wheels program. If you cannot reach someone at your local program, please reach out to Metro Meals on Wheels at 612-623-3363.

Meals on Wheels is committed to providing meal delivery throughout the Coronavirus/COVID-19 Pandemic. There may be some changes to services provided during this difficult time to protect the safety of meal recipients and volunteers, but we will continue to serve our neighbors in need.

We are honored that you’ve chosen Meals on Wheels as your home-delivered meal provider. We will continue to monitor this situation and keep you informed, especially if we anticipate a possible service interruption of any kind. Please read this FAQ for more information on what we’re doing to protect meal recipients as we make deliveries.

If you would like to enroll in Meals on Wheels…

We are continuing to accept new customers! If you’d like to enroll, please do so here. Meals are available on a short-term and long-term basis and we are working to ensure delivery for those at high-risk during this pandemic regardless of your ability to pay. Please know that if you can pay for meals, you are helping someone who isn’t able to.

You can help support our efforts to be prepared

You can donate here. We’ve increased production of meals at our kitchen and are working to ensure that everyone who is need of meals at this time can get them. We’re also spending emergency funds to outfit our delivery sites with sanitizing supplies. Anything you can give supports that effort.

For more tips on preventing the spread of illness and updates on the coronavirus/COVID-19, visit the Minnesota Department of Health website.