SCARBOROUGH — In partnership with the Southern Maine Agency on Aging, Scarborough Community Services will be providing meals to go for seniors on July 21 in a drive-thru setting at Scarborough High School.

Residents over 60, who register by 4 p.m. on July 10, can get three pre-cooked frozen meals, said Cindy DiBiase, senior program coordinator for Scarborough Community Services. There is also a suggested donation of $10.

As this pandemic has caused many seniors to stay at home in order to stay healthy, many have been feeling isolated or bored of the food items in their freezers and pantries, DiBiase said. The program is a way for seniors to have a full freezer.

Drive-thru pick up for meals will be at the Scarborough High School Lower Parking Lot from 10 to 11 a.m. on July 21, according to the Town of Scarborough Facebook page. Registration is required, which can be done by calling DiBiase at 730-4173.

Family members may pick up the frozen items for their senior resident, DiBiase said. A Scarborough staff member will be checking off names and then providing the meals.

The meals to go program was created as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Renee Longarini, nutrition manager at the Southern Maine Agency on Aging.

“We used to have a community cafe program where we’d offer traditional meals in a dining room setting, and when the pandemic hit, we needed to suspend those dining options,” she said.

Many seniors have been missing the social aspect that came from these community meals, Longarini said. The Southern Maine Agency on Aging has been providing a volunteer-based phone program, where seniors receive a phone call each day as a way to get some social interaction.

“A lot of seniors who had not been home-bound before the pandemic are home-bound now,” she said. “We’ve had a lot of seniors saying they’re afraid to go out into the community.”

The meals to go program has been implemented in the Kennebunk area, which served 40 to 60 people, Longarini said.

Because Scarborough Community Services and the Southern Maine Agency on Aging had worked together in the past, Longarini brought the idea to DiBiase.

“I reached out to Cindy and just suggested it to see if it would be a good fit,” Longarini said. “Really quickly she had almost 50 people sign up for it. It seems like there’s a good demand for it.”

Residents or seniors curious about programs or updates from Southern Maine Agency on Aging can call 396-6500 or visit smaaa.org/index.html.

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