DAYTON, Ohio — At the Senior Resource Connection in Dayton, the staff is providing an essential service, delivering meals to senior citizens — something they all truly care about — coronavirus, or not.

  • The Dayton Foundation and the United Way of Greater Dayton announced a $700K fund that will aid basic human needs during the coronavirus outbreak
  • 5 not-for-profit organizations have been awarded the initial grants, totaling $70,500
  • Those organizations are: Senior Resource Center, Hannah’s Treasure Chest, Health Partners Free Clinic, Dayton Right to Life, Victory Project

And for these Meals on Wheels drivers, things are moving along as they normally would — just with some extra precautions.  
Irene Davis has been delivering meals for two years, and says coronavirus or not, she has to take care of her clients. 
“It’s a little scary, but I know a lot of my seniors depend on this meal,” Davis said. “So, I just feel in my heart this is something I need to do to make sure they get a meal each day and have something on the table to eat.” 
She says she worries a little bit about working and being exposed to potentially catching the virus, but the seniors she serves look out for her, too.  
“My clients worry about me also, getting the virus,” Davis said. “A lot of them gave me gloves to make sure that I am protected. It’s critical, but I do what I have to do for these people.” 
There’s no stopping this group from providing meals to seniors in the Miami Valley. And luckily for them, aid is coming to help them in their mission.  
The United Way of Greater Dayton and the Dayton Foundation has partnered together to pledge $700,000 to aid basic human needs.  
So far, five not-for-profit organizations have been awarded funding. Those organizations are: 
Senior Resource Connection - $30,000 
Hannah’s Treasure Chest - $15,000 
Health Partners Free Clinic - $15,000 
Dayton Right to Life - $6,000 
Victory Project - $4,500 
Sharon Howard, director of nutrition services for the Senior Resource Connection, says they deliver 1,700 meals a day, and overall serve about 3,500 through all their services. So the $30,000 in grant money from the Dayton Foundation will help considerably. 
“The money that we’re receiving from the Dayton Foundation will go a long way in getting some more seniors signed up for the program, getting emergency meals during the next several months as we all face the coronavirus together,” Howard said.  
She gives all the credit to her 80-person staff, who work hard to serve the senior community every single day.  
“I have the best crew on the planet, because rain, sleet, snow, or coronavirus, they’re here,” she said. “They’re doing it.”  
One of those staff members is 73-year old driver Andrea Lawrence. She says this group truly cares about the people they serve.  
“I do, I care about the person, my client, what their going through,” Lawrence said. “Now we go and make sure they have their meals.” 
And they don’t plan on stopping — as long as their allowed to operate.  
“I’m gonna keep going until I can’t do it no more,” Davis said. 
She said she just wants to see everyone take care of each other, especially the seniors. 
“Just people be safe, and take care of your elderlies,” she said.   
The Dayton Foundation says the $700,000 grant will run out quickly, as they continue to fund worthy non-profit organizations in the Miami Valley. So they are asking for donations to help sustain the fund for the long haul.

If you are interested in contributing, you can make a donation online.