A program that helped provide free meals to seniors through local restaurants ended on Friday, June 12, but there are still other opportunities for those who need food assistance. The Greater Nashville Regional Council (GNRC) received a grant through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and that grant contains two components, according to Michelle Lacewell, GNRC Deputy Director.
“First, a portion of the funding was designated to expand food assistance programming through our existing providers, like Mid-Cumberland Human Resources Agency. Second, the Act expanded eligibility for meal recipients and funding for restaurants (small businesses) to provide the meals as a form of stimulus during the shelter in place orders,” Lacewell said.
Restaurants applied to the program through GNRC’s website, she added. “We accepted all initial applicants who could fulfill the program requirements. Since April, 21 restaurants have produced over 45,000 meals for older adults across 13 counties in Middle Tennessee. We have paid out nearly $500,000 to our participating restaurants through this program,” Lacewell said.
In Cheatham County, Mama D’s, Swezey’s, and The Livery Stables were approved participants in the program.
“Friday was the last day of the restaurant meal program and that portion of the grant funding has been depleted. Currently, we do not have funding to continue the restaurant program,” she explained.
Individuals who are seeking food assistance can call the GNRC’s Information and Referral hotline – 615-255-1010.
“Our counselors will be able to assess their situation and determine eligibility for traditional meal programs like those offered through MCHRA,” Lacewell said.