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Montgomery County Finds Innovative Solutions to Serving Meals to Seniors During COVID-19

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, March 31, 2020

The Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Montgomery County Recreation (MCR) continue their commitment to serve nutritious meals to seniors in need, even though the County’s Senior and Recreation Centers are closed.

DHHS and MCR, along with the Jewish Council for the Aging, began making frozen meal packs available to seniors through the County’s Senior Nutrition Program on March 18. Partners and volunteers are operating “grab and go” locations and are making a limited number of home deliveries to the County’s senior population.

“In light of the recent COVID-19 outbreak and the mandate to close our centers, we are converting from our popular congregate meal program – where people come to our centers for socialization and nutritionally balanced meals– to this new model,” said Odile Brunetto, Acting Chief of DHHS’s Aging and Disability Services. “We could not do this work without the incredible work of our partners and the volunteers who are stepping up to meet the ever-growing needs of our senior community.”

 “Montgomery County Recreation has become a lifeline for many residents in our communities, and especially for seniors. We are no longer just places for play, but rather provide essential and necessary services that the community needs,” said Robin Riley, Director of Montgomery County Recreation. “We are proud to join our partners to keep this invaluable service available to county seniors during these difficult times.”

The frozen meal packs are delivered once per week and contain at least seven nutritionally balanced meals designed with seniors in mind. Meals are suitable for diabetics and contain one-third the Recommended Dietary Allowance for adults over age 60. Each seven-pack box will include seven different individual entrees, seven milk cartons and a variety of fruit cups, applesauce and bread products to meet dietary needs and comply with regulations. 

This federal, state and locally funded program, in place in the County for more than 25 years, serves over 25,000 meals a month to about 2,500 seniors. Over the years, this program has grown to serving seniors in more than 40 locations year-round and up to 56 locations throughout the County during the winter months when the Cold Box Meals program operates.

Meals are normally available for a voluntary financial donation, however, to limit the risk associated with the transfer of coins and bills, collection of donations is suspended at this time.

To be eligible, most people must be 60 years of age or older. Spouses of participants or a person with a disability living with a participant, are also eligible.

Due to rapidly increasing demand, we cannot guarantee service to everyone at this time. If capacity is exceeded, names will be placed on a waiting list. Individuals interested in learning more about the food delivery, the grab and go locations, and to register for the meal program can contact the Senior Center nearest them:

Damascus Senior Center

Tony Edghill                   240-535-0732       


Holiday Park Senior Center

Dolors Ustrell-Roig        240-460-2236       


Long Branch Senior Center

Mary Pelz                        301-332-4451       


Schweinhaut Senior Center

Karen Maxin                   240-805-3712       


North Potomac Senior Center

Sheila Hall                      202-450-8057       


Wheaton Senior Center

Alex Alcon                      202-760-1003       


White Oak Senior Center

TeAnna Abraham           240-678-5696      


All other 55+ Active Adult Programs

Cathy Richards               240-753-9280     


Assistance in Spanish is available by contacting Dolors Ustrell-Roig at 240-460-2236.  Assistance in Chinese is available by contacting Qi (Adele ) Hu at 240-994-9097.

For the latest COVID-19 updates, visit the County’s COVID-19 website and follow Montgomery County on Facebook and Twitter .


Release ID: 20-150
Media Contact: Julie Parker 240-777-6507