LA County to Launch ‘Great Plates Delivered’ Initiative

Initiative will provide three meals per day to older adults while supporting local workers and stimulating the local economy

LOS ANGELES, CA – Today, the County of Los Angeles announced participation in the State of California’s ‘Great Plates Delivered’ initiative. With the support of the Board of Supervisors and with a partnership between the LA County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services (WDACS) and the Office of Emergency Management, LA County will provide three home-delivered meals a day to qualifying older adults and adults over 60 who are high-risk as determined by the CDC, while also stimulating the economy by bringing employees back to work from the restaurant, hospitality, and transportation industries.

Individual participants may apply for ‘Great Plates Delivered’ by calling 2-1-1. To be eligible for participation, individuals must meet requirements that includes age, inability to prepare or obtain meals, and are not currently receiving assistance from other state or federal nutrition assistance programs. Click here for a full list of requirements.

Restaurants interested in participating in the ‘Great Plates Delivered’ program should fill out an interest form by clicking here. Food providers will be selected based on factors that include their ability to meet volume and nutritional standards, and prioritize local jobs, worker retention, worker health and safety, and standards of equity and fairness in employment practices. The County is finalizing additional criteria which will be posted on this webpage in the days ahead.

LA County is launching the first phase of ‘Great Plates Delivered’ initiative with a partnership with UNITE HERE Local 11’s Hospitality Training Academy (HTA) as WDACS continues to work to expand the program with partnerships with local restaurants. HTA offers the only hospitality/food service training program in California that focuses on union employment, providing participants with an opportunity to secure career pathways with good wages and benefits. HTA will utilize its network of hotels and commercial kitchens to provide three meals a day to 1,500 individuals across the County.

The County will also partner with restaurants/food service providers, including small neighborhood food establishments, to provide meals through the ‘Great Plates Delivered’ program. To the extent possible, the County will assign participants to restaurants located in the same city or neighborhood.

“L.A. County is proud to partner with hospitality workers, restaurants, and cities to implement this innovative program to provide meals for seniors who are most in need,” Supervisor Barger said. “This collaborative effort bolsters local business, supports the regional economy, and ensures the well-being and care of at-risk seniors. This act of unity and creativity, which benefits so many in our community, is a win-win.”

“The Great Plates Delivered program will allow us to expand the capacity of our current senior meals programming so that low-income older adults with health conditions could more easily adhere to physical distancing and infection control protocols,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis. “This program will also provide an economic stimulus to local businesses struggling to keep their doors open, so this is a win-win for all of us.”

“Since the inception of this pandemic, our elderly population has been the most vulnerable and disproportionately impacted community by COVID-19,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “This program will not only allow seniors to get the nutrition they need while at home, but will provide employment opportunities for union workers who need it the most.”

“With the speed of a great short order cook, the County has launched the Great Plates Delivered program,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “Eligible County seniors will now be able to get three square meals a day and the program will help keep our local restaurants in business as well. My deep thanks to the state, county leaders and our local food partners for getting this program up and running in a flash.”

“Through ‘Great Plates Delivered’, we will deliver meals straight to people who need to stay in their homes while also providing business to local restaurants that are struggling,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “Even though we are starting a phased reopening, the virus remains a serious health threat and we need to make sure people at higher risk can stay home.”

“This innovative program creates jobs for union and restaurant workers to craft nutritious meals and deliver them to older adults,” said Otto Solórzano, Acting Director of the LA County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services. “This is part of our continued effort to maximize the impact of every taxpayer dollar. We are creating jobs and combating hunger at the same time.”

Cities also have the option of implementing their own ‘Great Plates Delivered’ programs. As of now, the cities of Los Angeles, Long Beach, Bell Gardens and La Puente plan to implement local programs. Click here for a full list of participating counties and cities. LA County will implement

‘Great Plates Delivered’ in all cities and unincorporated areas in LA County that do not have their own locally operated programs. ‘Great Plates Delivered’ is jointly funded by FEMA (75% match), the State (18.75%), and local jurisdictions (6.25%). Per FEMA, the program will run until June 10, 2020. It is anticipated that the State will seek two additional 30-day extensions from FEMA which, if approved, would extend ‘Great Plates Delivered’ to as late as August 10, 2020.

For more information about the ‘Great Plates Delivered’ initiative in LA County, please click here. This webpage will be updated with new information as this new program is rolled out.

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