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The Oregon Cascades West Council of Government’s (OCWCOG) Meals on Wheels (MOW) dining centers began providing take-home meals to its clients in Linn, Benton and Lincoln Counties beginning Friday, March 13, in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, COVID0-19.

MOW home-delivery will continue uninterrupted using a non-contact delivery method.

Those who regularly dine at one of its neighborhood dining sites were provided a take-home meal when they arrived on Friday. Diners may return to the meal sites on regular serving days beginning today, Monday, March 16, between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. to pick up “to-go” meals.

For MOW home delivery, OCWCOG is suspending hand-to-hand delivery and are asking volunteers and clients to keep a six-foot distance from each other. Volunteers who have a cough or have symptoms of the flu are asked to stay at home rather than risk exposing homebound seniors.

“We want to ensure the safety of our employees, participants, and our volunteers,” said MOW Program Supervisor Anita Lengacher. “Because we work with a population that is more vulnerable to the effects of the coronavirus, we are being especially vigilant in light of the current environment.”

How Can You help?

In order for OCWCOG to continue providing service to the most vulnerable population through these difficult times, the organization in desperate need of these items:

Hand sanitizer;

Anti-bacterial wipes; and

Handled bags (plastic or paper) that are used to package meals.

If you are able to donate any of these items, please bring them to one of the meal site locations between 11:00 am and 12:00 pm, or to any of OCWCOG office locations. Meal site locations can be found HERE, and OCWCOG office locations can be found HERE.

OCWCOG is also incurring additional costs that are not anticipated to deal with this change in service. As the availability of the MOW volunteer corps changes, donations will be used to off-set mileage expenses to ensure that there are no interruptions to delivering meals to home-bound clients. If you would like to donate to help offset these costs, please click HERE.

If you are currently a volunteer, thank you! If you would like to volunteer to deliver meals, please call 541-924-8455.

For additional information about COVID-19, visit the Centers for Disease Control, the Oregon Health Authority, or the World Health Organization.

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