East Bay Paratransit drivers deliver food to homebound seniors during Shelter in Place

04.07.20

East Bay Paratransit drivers deliver food to homebound seniors during Shelter in Place

Go hungry or venture out and risk infection – it was a devil’s choice that many of the 2,400 homebound Alameda County seniors who rely on SOS Meals on Wheels faced when the Bay Area was ordered to shelter in place. The San Leandro-based non-profit was struggling with a critical shortage of volunteer drivers, virtually all of whom are seniors who face their own risk of infection. After all, the “SOS” in the organization’s name stands for “Service Opportunity for Seniors.”

Thankfully, BART, AC Transit and East Bay Paratransit found an ingenious solution to continue meal delivery. To keep the critical lifeline of food moving, East Bay Paratransit has turned to its own drivers, who were confronted with being idled by a steep decline in requests for paratransit trips.  They are professionally trained drivers who have passed background checks, and many are eager to continue working. BART and AC Transit have agreed to fund the effort.

So, even in the midst of an unprecedented public health emergency, the daily miracle continues: a friendly knock on the door, a warm smile and a hot meal delivered to an elder.