While many of us were expecting yesterday’s “shelter in place” guidance from Sonoma County’s Health Officer – joining Marin and six other Bay Area counties, both orders still feel like a shock. Just a week ago, we were going to work and school, meeting friends for dinner at our favorite restaurants, working out at the gym, and simply enjoying the freedom to live our lives.
All of us are impacted and most of us are scared.
Despite the impacts on our personal lives – and no matter our situation – we all have an important role to play in helping our community not only get through this time, but come out the other side with more compassion and connection.
Here’s what your Ceres Community Project family is doing, and how you can help.
What We’re Doing: Client Support
What We’re Doing: Health & Safety
- All of the clients we serve are very high risk and had already been asked to shelter at home. They are almost all over 65, medically fragile, alone and lacking income. We’re currently assessing each client’s unique situation and determining how to best support them, including potentially increasing from 7 to 14 or even 21 meals a week for clients with no other support system.
- We are receiving many calls from people who are needing delivered medically tailored meals, and are expecting health departments and medical providers in both Marin and Sonoma to reach out to us to support additional patients. To expand services, we need financial help, trained chefs and more volunteers.
- We are participating almost daily with Marin and Sonoma county planning and coordination efforts for emergency food response, and are now part of a team working with the state’s Director of Aging to insure our organizations can scale services to care for our most vulnerable community members.
What You Can Do
- We have been tracking COVID-19 for weeks, and had already implemented sweeping protocols based on guidance from CDC, California Department of Public Health, and local health departments to keep our clients, staff and volunteers safe. They include:
- Social distancing at delivery
- Limiting kitchen shifts to 10 or fewer people to allow for greater distance between people
- Frequent sanitizing of all commonly touched surfaces at all sites
- Review of safety and sanitation procedures on every shift; even more frequent than required hand-washing
- All staff who can are working remotely; all meetings “virtual”
- Make a financial donation today to help Ceres respond to the urgent need for support.
- Sign up to volunteer. We are in need of:
- Kitchen help --Trained chefs and strong home chefs, trained Ceres Teen Leaders, and alumni who are already familiar with our kitchen and operations. Check our sign-up sheet often. Our needs change daily. Sign up here.
- Delivery help – Routes in Marin and Sonoma counties using your own vehicle. We can load bags into your car, and you will remain 6 feet away from clients during delivery. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to help with deliveries or be an on-call driver.
- Check in on your friends and neighbors. If they are over 65 or unable to leave the house for other reasons, offer to run errands or go grocery shopping for them. You can leave groceries on the doorstep. Have virtual visits. Call and chat.
- Take care of yourself. We all need to keep our own immune systems strong. That means eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise – a walk or bike ride, getting plenty of rest, drinking lots of water, staying connected, and reducing your own stress. Take a break from the news. Turn off your cell phone at night. Focus on what’s positive in our world right now.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being part of our Ceres family. The difference we make together every day is a testament to the very best of who we are as humans – generous, compassionate, and kind.
Please give whatever you can right now so we can be there for our community.
Founder & CEO