Each day, the volunteers at Meals on Wheels in Baltimore are working as quickly as they can to make sure elderly and home-bound citizens around the city get fed. It's a need that has only grown as the pandemic continues into its second year.
It’s been a busy 24 months and things likely will permanently stay like this, according to executive director Stephanie Archer-Smith
"The people we serve, they’re unseen. These are not people that are part of our everyday consciousness," she said.
At the height of the pandemic, this branch of Meals on Wheels in Baltimore was serving 77,000 meals a week. That number has now leveled off to 35,000 meals a week, but it's still considerably higher than pre-pandemic need.
Stephanie Archer-Smith is worried that once emergency funding from Congress runs out a lot of nonprofits won’t have the resources to meet demand which has permanently increased.
"There was a need that was out there already that we weren’t reaching," she said.
One of the biggest things this nonprofit is noticing is prolonged isolation is now putting more senior citizens in positions where their health has deteriorated and they now need help getting food.
"Our aging adults have been isolated and inactive and someone who didn’t need this 18 months ago, having been so stationary has put them in a different place," Archer-Smith added.