Commissioner Adrian Garcia is expanding the precinct’s existing homebound senior daily free hot meal delivery program, according to an April 1 press release. Precinct 2 residents age 60 or older who possess limited resources and are unable to leave their home or perform basic cooking duties due to illness, disability, or lack of mobility are eligible for the program, per the release.
Those who enroll will receive daily, nutritious hot meals delivered directly to their door by Precinct 2 staff.
“During this crisis, we will not forget our most vulnerable residents of Precinct 2, such as homebound seniors,” Garcia said in the release. “Our current program is great, but I know there is going to be an increasing need for help, and we are preparing to meet the demand.”
People can register online or via the Precinct 2 hotline at 713-274-2222, which is active Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. After submitting an application, a Precinct 2 representative will perform a home visit, evaluate applicants’ conditions and assess their ability to perform daily activities as well as their access to other assistance services. All information gathered is totally confidential, per the release.
More than 100 new signups have come in for the program since its expansion, and the precinct is in the process of verifying each applicant, said Scott Spiegel, press secretary for Garcia’s office. The program served 160 people before its expansion, he said.
None of the three other Harris County precincts currently manage a food senior homebound program like the one in Precinct 2, Spiegel said. The program, which is 30 years old, originated with Commissioner Jim Fonteno and is the product of a partnership between the precinct and nonprofit Precinct2gether.
The precinct is aiming to expand the program especially now, given the limitations placed on Precinct 2 residents with the coronavirus pandemic. Community liaisons within the precinct are working to further increase awareness of the program locally via social media and homeowners associations, Spiegel said.
“Knowing the precinct, there are others that could and would need this type of thing,” Spiegel said. “We’re an underserved area with a lot of folks that aren’t millionaires, to say the least, so there’s a lot of need that was there before coronavirus and is only going to get worse.”
Aside from the senior homebound meal delivery program, Precinct 2 also has been serving lunches in its parks for children Monday through Thursday afternoons. This week, 1,900 total lunches were served, Spiegel said.
Other opportunities for residents to receive fresh food include drive-by food pickups at community centers and popup produce giveaways, he added.
“Food is a big deal to the commissioner,” Spiegel said. “It’s a big, big deal for [him]. ... He doesn’t want anyone that is struggling to go hungry.”