Marshall County Council on Aging (MCOA) has been a community partner with Qsource in the North Central Community Care Coalition. MCOA is an integral partner focused on specific Marshall County community needs for the aging population/dementia-friendly population.
During the pandemic, MCOA and Qsource recruited and engaged other community partners, including the regional Alzheimer Organization, United Way, Real Services, Area 5 Aging Services, Institute for Excellence in Memory Care, and Saint Joseph Hospital. During our monthly coalition meetings in 2019-2020, we identified a barrier with meal delivery systems of care. The following is a success story that occurred despite the COVID-19 pandemic, once vaccines were introduced into the community.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc, MCOA has seen success in the Meals on Wheels program. In 2020, we delivered over 8,500 meals – 2,000 more than any other year! Once things began to reopen locally, our community members, were eager to “get out,” returning to the community and volunteering to meet our needs in the largest numbers we have ever seen. To date, they have continued to serve and meet the public service need with delivering meals to our homebound community members.
This has been successful in part, with the help of local United Way grants. The increase in volunteers has enabled us to continue and restart programs that were on hold due to the pandemic or indirectly canceled due to funding issues and/or loss of income. Although, of course, many COVID-19 protocols are still in place, MCOA has been inspired by our community members coming together to get us all through these tough times.