Project Lead:

Darla Olson
Meals on Wheels Orange County

Food Security
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Meeting Frequency: Every Other Month, 2nd Monday from 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Goal: Increase food security for Orange County’s older adults age 60+ by enrolling new participants in CalFresh. Establish new Commodity Supplemental Food Program and Senior Grocery distribution sites for food insecure older adults.

Participating Organizations: 211OC, Age Well Senior Services, Community Action Partnership of Orange County, City of Garden Grove, City of Irvine, City of Mission Viejo, OC Food Access Coalition, OC Food Bank, OC Health Care Agency, OC Office on Aging, Second Harvest Food Bank, Meals on Wheels Orange County

Goals

Goal(s): *Note: This subcommittee’s goals and activities will also be reported to the OC Healthier Together Health Improvement Plan 2020-22.

  • Goal #1: Continue to support and increase the education and awareness of the Restaurant Meal Program (RMP) in the County
  • Goal #2: Explore and brainstorm ideas on healthcare physicians providing a food security screening for their older adult patients Goal #3: Continue working and developing the “How to Get Food Help” presentation for older adult consumers

Measurements: 

  • RMP Education and Awareness o Conduct an environmental scan of restaurants frequented by older adults in Orange County. Subcommittee and organizational volunteers to conduct outreach to at least 75% of the identified targets to encourage participation in the program.
  • Awareness of Overall Food Help
  • Identify top 20-25 aging services organizations to conduct presentations and maintain strategic relationships throughout the next two years

How Goal will be Achieved: 

  • RMP Education and Awareness o Continue to stay in regular contact with OC Social Services Agency (RMP lead in the county) to ensure the subcommittee’s efforts are coordinated with the overall strategy of the program
  • Focus on cities with the least participation to sign up to
  • Review list of restaurants that have signed up and determine what restaurants would benefit from being part of the program
  • Physician Food Security Screening
  • Partner and get advice from Kaiser to see how a screening tool can be implemented
  • “How to get Food Help” Presentation o Finalize presentation
  • Explore what platform to use to present presentation (in-person, virtual etc.)
  • Create a Food Help flyer

2020 Accomplishments

Although 2020 was an unpredictable year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the committee members remained involved during this difficult time. Here is a list of the member responses to the pandemic:

  • Second Harvest – focus on boxed foods, Farm to Family,  grab n’go and drive thru pantries; funding for Farmer Aid Project extends Phase 4 Nov-Dec 31
  •  211-OC – CalFresh team has expanded and are taking remote applications; increased applications for Farsi and Vietnamese speaking families; taking enrollments for Nutrition Gap Program and Delivering with Dignity meal programs
  • City of Mission Viejo – approx. 100 meals on wheels through Age Well; 333 enrolled in Great Plates Program
  •  Meals on Wheels OC – delivered 3 meals a day to seniors, 5 days a week

2019 Quarterly Updates

Quarter 1
January – March 31 2019

  • There were 198 new adults over the age 60 enrolled into CalFresh since January 1.
  • Restaurant Meal Program OC SSA representatives provided presentations to Meals on Wheels Orange County (formerly SeniorServ) site managers educating about new program. 
  • The subcommittee is working on creating a “where to get food help” presentation for senior consumers.

Quarter 2
April – June 30 2019

  • There were 198 new adults over the age 60 enrolled into CalFresh since January 1.
  • Restaurant Meal Program OC SSA representatives provided presentations to Meals on Wheels Orange County (formerly SeniorServ) site managers educating about new program.
  • The subcommittee is working on creating a “where to get food help” presentation for senior consumers.

Quarter 3
July – September 30, 2019

  • A total of 1,166 new adults over age 60 enrolled into Cal Fresh since January 1. The subcommittee’s initial goal was 650!
  • The Food Security and Senior Nutrition subcommittee trained 16 interns on the Restaurant Meal Program to help spread awareness and conduct outreach to restaurants to join the program. Their priority is to reach out to restaurants in Garden Grove and the South County cities.
  • The OC Food Help website is now live. The website includes an interactive food map with all distribution opportunities and an online appointment system for Cal Fresh.

Quarter 4
October – December 31, 2019

  • As of November 30th, 1,357 seniors 60+ have enrolled into CalFresh since January 1 exceeding their goal of enrolling 650 seniors for the 18-months.
  • The subcommittee has conducted RMP outreach to the cities of Garden Grove, San Clemente, and San Juan Capistrano.
  • As of December 31st, there are 105 participating restaurants and 74 pending RMP applications.

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