Do you feel that the dog days of summer are upon you? Remember that New York Connects is your place for information and assistance, even referrals to several different programs here in Chautauqua County.
One such program is Meals on Wheels. The Jamestown Area has seen a tremendous increase in the number of meal recipients it sees each week, since early 2011 when NY Connects began receiving phone calls and making direct referrals for individuals interested in starting meal delivery. The NY Connects Jamestown-area number is 661-7582.
"Meals on Wheels views NY Connects as an asset to seniors living in Chautauqua County," said Barrie Yochim, executive director for Meals on Wheels. "We benefit not only from those individuals who are clearly seeking home-delivered meals; we benefit when seniors or their families seek other senior-oriented programs and suddenly see that Meals on Wheels can help them as well."
In the past year, Meals on Wheels has seen an 11 percent increase in the number of meals it provides in the community much to the credit of NY Connects.
"We also take advantage of NY Connects information, assistance and referral at Meals on Wheels," Yochim said. "When we get that first phone call from an individual or family member interested in getting Meals on Wheels, we make an immediate referral to NY Connects either by giving them the NY Connects phone number or transferring the individual by phone directly to Mayville."
NY Connects processes the request, and if Meals on Wheels is requested, the referral goes immediately back to Meals on Wheels, he said. Meal delivery sometimes can start the next day, depending on a variety of factors including location of the meal recipient, what kind of services are already in the home and whether the meal recipient can pay for the meals.
The suggested cost for home delivery of one heatable meal and one cold meal is $8 per day. For either a heatable or cold meal, the suggested cost is $4.50 per day. If an individual 60 years old or older can't pay for meals, or can pay only a small amount, the individual can still get meals. Donations from meals on wheels participants are vital to help continue the service here in Chautauqua County. The Chautauqua County Office for the Aging provides Meals on Wheels funding for meals for individuals age 60 and older, if they qualify for the program. Meals on Wheels also receives funding from United Way of Southern Chautauqua County and other individual contributors, which helps offset the meal cost for individuals who can't pay the full amount.
Meals on Wheels can keep its delivery costs low because it utilizes many volunteers who help deliver meals each day. Volunteer delivery routes, called satellite routes, are delivered in Jamestown, Lakewood, Falconer, Celoron and Fluvanna each day. Volunteers deliver more than 80 meals each day for Meals on Wheels. Some Meals on Wheels volunteers are from the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program. If you are interested in helping brighten the day of a neighbor here in Chautauqua County, you can even call NY Connects to connect you with several volunteer opportunities.
WCA Hospital prepares meals for Meals on Wheels recipients in southern Chautauqua County from the hospital's Jones Memorial Health Center kitchen. Any Chautauqua County senior citizen can receive home meal delivery, if the individual qualifies. Meals on Wheels of the Jamestown Area delivers to the southern half of Chautauqua County.
Sinclairville 76ers provide home-delivered meals to participants in the towns of Charlotte, Cherry Creek, Gerry and Ellington, and in Cassadaga, Stockton and Lily Dale. Dunkirk-Fredonia Meals on Wheels provides home-delivered meals to participants along the Lake Erie lakeshore from Brocton to Silver Creek, including the towns of Hanover and Villenova, and in Forestville.
The north county New York Connects phone number is 7363-4477.
NY Connects is your one-stop call for information about services available to you in Chautauqua County. Call with your questions, and we will provide you with local services and resources in an effort to meet your needs.
You can access Chautauqua County New York Connects in many ways to fit your needs. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Mayville 753-4582, Dunkirk 363-4582 or Jamestown 661-7582. Fax: 753-4477. You can come to our main office location at 7 North Erie St., Mayville, in the HRC building at the county seat offices. NY Connects is brought to you by the Chautauqua County Office for the Aging and the Chautauqua County Department of Social Services.