After need nearly triples, Seniors First revamps its meal services to keep vulnerable population fed

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Since the coronavirus pandemic spread to Central Florida, local group Seniors First has had to scramble to completely revamp the way it provides services to local seniors while demand skyrockets.

Seniors First went from serving 250 seniors to 700 since the pandemic began.

And with the community centers where the group used to bring its clients to eat and socialize closed, their buses are used to bring food to the seniors instead of bringing seniors to the food.

“Coronavirus

READ: Seniors First opens food pantry on select days to anyone needing meal in Orlando

“It was important that we just figure it out and make it happen,” said Catherine Brown, with Seniors First.

On Tuesday, Seniors First based its food delivery out of the back of a bus in Taft.

“I do not drive, other than this golf cart, so this gives me an opportunity to get food because of social distancing,” said Seniors First client David Simpson.

Clients are also being given a do-it-yourself face mask kit with fabric, elastic and instructions.

“We're strained like all the food banks in town are,” Brown said. “We're very fortunate we've had so many people reach out to us and say, 'What can I do? How can I help?'”

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Steve Barrett

Steve Barrett, WFTV.com

Reporter Steve Barrett returned to WFTV in mid-2017 after 18 months in the Twin Cities, where he worked as Vice President of Communications for an Artificial Intelligence software firm aligned with IBM.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.