A state-led plan to deliver food to seniors sheltering from the pandemic is getting off the ground, but slowly, and not everywhere.
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Great Plates Delivered with two goals: feed seniors who must stay at home to minimize the risk of coronavirus and stoke business for restaurants starved of patrons.
“This partnership will allow for the ability for restaurants to start rehiring people or keep people currently employed,” Newsom said at an April 24 press briefing.
The program relies largely on money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to pay restaurants, and on counties and cities to recruit participants.
Newsom’s announcement took some local officials by surprise.
“Literally within 10 minutes, our hotline started ringing pretty much off the hook,” said Lisa Mancini, director of San Mateo County’s Aging and Adult Services.
Still, she says the county welcomed the opportunity: “We know the need is out there,” she said.
But rural and small counties have expressed skepticism of the program's original May 10 deadline for spending the money, as well as the potential for red tape.
“If we do it wrong, we’re not reimbursed,” said Solano County Emergency Services Manager Don Ryan at a Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday. “If we do it right, a lot of people are not even going to be eligible for it.” Read the full story here.
— Molly Peterson (@mollydacious)