While a state a stay-at-home order has put an end to birthday parades, a Saco resident identified only as Gwen, who marked her 8th birthday on March 31, was among a number of young people gifted by such parades of cars, police cruisers and firetrucks in the days before the order went into place. Andrew Dickinson/City of Saco Photo

SACO — The city of Saco has a new hotline and new and continued senior food programs.

Resource Hotline

The City of Saco is now offering a new COVID-19 general community resource hotline. Those uncertain as to how to accomplish something with the city due to the pandemic, need help finding available community or business resources, or are experiencing food insecurity, call 294-2436. The hotline is staffed 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Amelia Meier of the Saco Parks and Recreation Department is coordinating the hotline.

While this is not a crisis hotline or a place to get official updates on COVID-19, it will serve as a helpful way to connect citizens with services and resources. For official updates on COVID-19, the City of Saco continues to recommend following the Maine CDC guidelines and orders from Governor Janet Mills. As well, calling 211 is a helpful resource for updates regarding COVID-19.

To-go meals at the Community Center

The Parks & Recreation Department has launched a food distribution program for seniors. The weekly to-go meal program enables the city to connect community members with a meal each week, while also partnering with local restaurants, offering support to some local businesses. The first meal pick-up, featuring food from The Golden Rooster, available to Saco residents over the age of 50 is scheduled for Friday April 3. To sign up, e-mail [email protected] or call 294-2436, including your name and any other names of those in your household who would like a meal. The RSVP deadline for this week is 9 a.m. Friday, April 3.

Meal pick-up will take place at the Saco Community Center (75 Franklin St.) parking lot, specifically the south side near Bradley Street, between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Age Friendly Saco

Age Friendly Saco was scheduled to receive 41 boxes of food from the USDA senior food box program to deliver to local seniors who have been receiving the benefit for the last several months.

On April 3, Age Friendly Saco, in partnership with the Saco Food Pantry, will be initiating the first delivery of food to the housing complexes formerly serviced by the Shopping Shuttles hosted by the Saco Parks and Recreation. “We are thankful for our partnership with the Saco Food Pantry. They have been an essential resource to help our community members in need,” said Jean Saunders of Age Friendly Saco.

Additionally, Saco’s Deli & Company plans to donate 104 meals for seniors in the community, with some of the meals going to residents of this complex. “We are overwhelmed with the generosity of Deli and Company,” said Saunders. “This will surely brighten the day of many of our isolated seniors.”

Neighbors helping neighbors

Although Governor Janet Mills’ stay-at-home order has put a hold on any future birthday parades, Saco police and fire departments participated in Gwen’s 8th Birthday Parade on March 31. With schools closed and social distancing guidelines in place, a group of Saco and Biddeford parents connected online to organize birthday parades for children who have birthdays. At 5 p.m., Gwen’s family brought her outside to see the parade of families drive by with signs, balloons, and presents, along with our police officers and firefighters delivering a siren and light show.