AUSTIN, TX – CommunityCare Health Centers is leading an initiative focused on delivering food to people quarantined due to the coronavirus, officials said Monday.
Central Health-affiliated CommUnityCare Health Centers as well as Capital Metro and Austin Public Health have jointly initiated the effort and delivered 39 food boxes for 14 CommUnityCare patients who are food unsafe on Friday alone. Since the start of the program in March, 122 families have been looked after and 545 boxes of food, 13 fans and four kits for kettles and warmers have been delivered to families with babies.
Each grocery box holds between 20 and 30 pounds of groceries, including pasta, tuna, and beans, as well as fresh produce, eggs, and milk. In addition to food, Capital Metro drivers deliver essentials such as diapers, medication and fans, officials added.
Central Health employees are loading boxes of food destined for households where patients are quarantined due to the coronavirus. Photo provided by Central Health.
“Many Travis County’s residents, including thousands of children, were food unsafe before the pandemic,” said Yvonne Camarena, CommUnityCare’s chief operating officer, in a prepared statement. “The problem is even greater with patients quarantined for COVID-19. Either they tested positive, they were exposed to the virus, or they are at high risk and have to stay home.”
The program is a collaboration of resources and expertise, officials noted. Nurses who operate the CommUnityCare COVID-19 hotline at (512) 978-8775 refer patients to CommUnityCare Community Health Workers, who then assess each patient’s needs. Austin Public Health, for its part, delivers the boxes of groceries, while Capital Metro drivers deliver the packages straight to patients’ homes.
“We are also very grateful to El Buen Samaritano and the Seven Day Adventist Church for providing us with fresh produce and non-perishable items that we can give to families,” added Camarena.