MONTEREY COUNTY — The Great Plates Delivered program was extended through Oct. 9 and has increased its ability to help 300 seniors in need, up from the 200 limit when it first began in May.

The program operates as a public assistance effort funded by FEMA.

“Currently we’re serving 220 seniors and we have contracted with eight restaurants to provide meals,” said Diana Jimenez, a deputy director with Monterey County Social Services. “We will add more businesses to meet the growing need of the seniors that will be served through this program.”

Since the program has expanded to serve meals to an additional 100 seniors, new applications are being accepted. Those interested can contact the United Way’s 2-1-1 number for screening.

Jimenez described the program’s two goals.

“The first one is to help seniors 60 and over who are at risk of contracting Covid-19 to stay home and stay healthy by delivering nutritious meals,” Jimenez said. “The second goal is to provide essential economic stimulus to local businesses who are struggling to stay afloat during this pandemic.”

Participating seniors receive three meals a day, seven days a week. Jimenez said the program serves seniors in “North Monterey County, the Peninsula, Marina, South County, Salinas and Spreckels.” She added, “The selected businesses for this program are geographically spread out across the county.”

Of the businesses involved in the program, two are from South Monterey County. Linda’s Taqueria in Gonzales and The Cork & Plough in King City are both participants.

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Sean Roney is a freelance reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for the Salinas Valley communities in South Monterey County.


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