Helping Seniors

Governor Newsom recently announced creation of the first-in-the-nation “Great Plates Delivered program,” which will partner with cities, counties and Tribes to deliver food to older adults.  

The program will provide nutritious meals to older Californians who should stay home during the COVID-19 pandemic. By partnering with local restaurants struggling to stay afloat, the program keeps restaurant workers employed, and seniors will stay safely at home without risking their health at the local supermarket.

Participants must be 65 or older and considered high-risk because they have coronavirus or were exposed to it, or have underlying health conditions. Participants must also live alone or with another eligible adult and can’t be enrolled in other federal nutrition programs. Incomes can be no more than $74,940 for individuals or $104,460 for two. How can I enroll into the program if I believe I qualify?   Each local administrator will establish a streamlined process to enter into the program and will conduct a screening process to ensure individuals meet program criteria.

Meals will be served three times a day, seven days a week, and restaurants will be reimbursed up to $66 dollars each day -- $16 for breakfast, $17 for lunch and $27 for dinner. An additional $5 will go for “incidental expenses.” Locally produced food from independent restaurants will be emphasized, along with a diverse selection of meals. Food must be low in sodium and options must include fruits and vegetables.

So who pays for all this? The federal government will reimburse 75% of the cost, with the state reimbursing local governments for 75% of their costs.

The program is new, and specifics about how to enroll should be announced soon. Once the program is fully up and running, you will be able to call 2-1-1 for details, or you can monitor the state’s website at: