Covid-19 Response & Recovery Fund
From our Fall 2020 Newsletter. See the full newsletter (PDF) here.
“I wasn’t sleeping at night,” says Laura. “I was worried if funding was going to come through and how we were going to feed our seniors.”
Over the last few months, Laura Pope, Site Manager of the Cokeville Senior Center, has faced the scary reality that seniors in her community may not have access to food or groceries. With soaring food prices and more supplies needed now than ever before, the work of the Cokeville Senior Center doubled.
In a town of about 500, around 60 seniors needed meals because of the pandemic. This number doubled from their usual mealtimes where they used to gather at the senior center.
“Seniors were scared to leave their house, and they needed food,” says Laura.
Not only did Laura and her staff start delivering meals for seniors, they also started doing their grocery shopping.
“The meals we delivered to them may be their one meal a day. It also means they don’t have to worry about going shopping,” says Laura.
Staff at the senior center had to deal with rising food costs, unexpected fuel costs for delivery, gloves, and food containers, which are hard to find. Other things they never expected came at a cost.
“A thermometer is over $30, and we needed one of those,” Laura said. “Every penny makes a difference when we want to feed our community, especially our seniors.”
Connecting in Cokeville
When delivering meals or groceries, Laura noticed some of the seniors seemed lonely too. The seniors found themselves more isolated because of the pandemic, and not able to visit with their family and friends.
“During the quarantine I started noticing loneliness,” says Laura. “I would try to set up Facetime calls for them so they could see their families.” Laura shares, “Loneliness can be detrimental to our health and we really need to keep any eye on our seniors and take care of them.” Taking care of seniors in Cokeville is more than just bringing them meals.
For Laura, it’s about honoring the people they are.
“Our seniors have lived dignified lives and taken care of us. This is their time to have all the dignity, care, and concern focused on them,” says Laura. “They have done that their whole life for us and now it’s time to honor and thank them.”
Making sure there is food on the table for seniors in Cokeville is one way Laura hopes their community can give back to seniors for all they’ve done.
Because of thoughtful donors like you, seniors in Cokeville can continue to receive meals. A grant from the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund made it possible for the senior center to operate during tough times.
“I still don’t even know if we are living up to their legacy,” says Laura. “But we are going to try. They are at the top of our list.”