LOS ANGELES - A new meal delivery program aims to help at-risk seniors in California while also generating sales tax revenue.
Governor Gavin Newsom said the government will work with local restaurants to deliver three nutritious meals per day to seniors seven days a week.
"This will allow for the ability for restaurants to start rehiring people or keep people currently employed," said Newsom.
To qualify, seniors must earn below 600% of the federal poverty level, which is $74,940 for an individual, and $154,500 for a family of four. The senior must also have either been exposed to the virus, have a high risk of exposure or a compromised immune system. The chosen seniors will get up to $66 per day for three meals at a local restaurant that meets specific criteria.
Restaurants like Tiato Santa Monica and the House of An restaurants are already doing their part to help seniors during the pandemic. Tiato is delivering 100 bags of groceries to at-risk seniors. The bags include fresh produce, vegetables and toilet paper.
The owner of Tiato, Catherine An, said she recognizes the importance of caring for seniors who are afraid to put themselves at risk while shopping.
Tiato has also opened their space to allow people in the community to shop for groceries in their store.
An also believes the meal delivery service could be beneficial and said they would want to be a part of the program.
Local governments will chose which restaurants will be a part of the program, and the decision will be based partly on nutrition. Newsom suggested that the program will favor independent restaurants and produce from local farms.
California restaurants have laid off 70% off their workers since March, according to a survey by the National Restaurant Association. Sales tax collections for local governments have also gone down because retail and restaurants are closed or only doing a portion of their normal business.
Tiato is delivering the bags of groceries to elderly people Saturday. The restaurant is asking the community to spend $35 or more to buy a bag to give to someone in need. and 20% of the proceeds will go to LA Regional Food Bank. To receive a bag, you must be 65 years or older and email firstname.lastname@example.org