How to help
Meals on Wheels (MOW), a nonprofit that relies on volunteers to deliver food to homebound seniors is in serious need of more help during this time.
“Some of our volunteers are unable to drive, so we are putting paid staff — many part time — on full time status. Also we have purchased gloves, hand sanitizer and plastic bags so we can leave the food outside the door while our driver steps onto the curve and waits for the senior to retrieve their meal,” said Sherry Nadworny, MOW director of development and community relations. “Of course this will slow the process, so we might need to split routes, thus requiring us to use more staff. Our sources of income is through grants and individual donations. COVID-19 is putting a burden on our resources, so donations in any amount would be greatly appreciated to cover these unanticipated costs.”
Brentwood Rotary members created www.brentwoodstrong.com in order to generate volunteer relief efforts and funds for those in need during this time.
In East County, several restaurants have remained open to supply food in the only form they can: to-go and delivery. In downtown Brentwood, Cap’s, La Fuente, Dino’s and La Costa are open. Sip and Scoop will be closing during the shelter-in-place orders, and Sweeney’s served the last of its corned beef and cabbage on March 17 and will close during the shelter-in-place. In Oakley, Black Bear Diner and La Costa confirmed they will remain open, while many others located in the downtown region didn’t answer calls. Some of Discovery Bay’s restaurants, including Boardwalk Grill and Matsuyama, confirmed they will remain open. And in Antioch, Rick’s on Second and Mac’s Old House are remaining open, while Cocina Medina’s recorded message indicated the restaurant will be closed March 16-18. Mac’s will serve a limited menu.
Grocery store information
Grocers are facing heightened consumer demand, stretched supply chains and fluid workforce conditions, according to a statement from the California Grocers Association.
“COVID-19 has caused demand to surge for a number of grocery items. In response, the California grocery industry is working double-time to meet the needs of consumers, with many grocery stores restocking items multiple times each day. The demand for some products has made it a challenge to distribute goods fast enough to restock shelves as quickly as consumers.”
Raley’s CEO Keith E. Knopf encouraged the public to buy only what they need for their immediate needs.
“Please know, the food system in the United States is the most sophisticated and robust in the world and amid ‘rational’ demand, it will keep up,” said Knopf. “If we all normalize our buying behavior and resist the unnecessary need to stockpile, everyone can have what they need.”
School districts in Oakley, Brentwood and Antioch will be offering free to-go meals to students during this time. Students must be present at the time of pick up.
“I realize that school closures represent difficulties for all members of our school community and all decisions pertaining to closures will continue to be based on what is best for our students, staff and the school community with the guidance of state health experts,” wrote Oakley Union Elementary School District Superintendent Greg Hetrick in a letter to families. Oakley meals will be offered from 10 to 11 a.m., on Mondays and Thursday at Iron House and Oakley elementary schools, allowing families to pick up both breakfast and lunch for their students.
Brentwood will offer similar options at Brentwood and Pioneer elementary schools, along with Edna Hill Middle School. Pick up times are Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Antioch students can pick up Grab and Go meals at Deer Valley High School and Marsh Creek Elementary, Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to noon.