Well, we’re settling into our new normal. I’m so proud of our residents and our city staff for pushing forward, staying home and continuing to do all you can to prevent the spread. Amidst the current virus pandemic, we are seeing neighbors helping neighbors. This reminds me of past Sonoma County disasters where we saw neighbors helping neighbors. This time of course it needs to be from a safe distance.
We all know someone that requires a little extra care during this pandemic. It might be your elderly neighbor or relative, your friend or child with a compromised immune system, or perhaps yourself. There are many neighbors helping neighbors and also services available to help folks through this pandemic event.
I’m honored to share how two of our officers helped a resident in need. Last week, we received a report of a woman’s debit card being stolen. Her bank account was emptied, and unfortunately, her food pantry was empty also. Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety Officers went grocery shopping, with their own funds, to help provide food for the resident. A local grocer also stepped in and donated groceries to our resident in need. The resident was delighted to receive help and essential food items.
The Redwood Empire Food Bank is no stranger to helping meet the food needs of our community. Their staff have been working tirelessly to compile an online resource called the Food Finder in an effort to connect people to food. Get up-to-date information on food bank distribution, produce pantry and senior baskets at www.getfood.refb.org.
Did you know that the Rohnert Park Rotary is providing hot meals for hospitality workers? The program is called Feeding Those Who Feed Us and is Saturdays from 12-2 p.m. at the library parking lot off Rohnert Park Expressway. Monetary donations to keep the program running are welcome at www.gofundme.com/f/feeding-those-who-feed-us.
Council on Aging has temporarily closed its dining sites; however, clients can pick up 5-day meal packs. Seniors must call by 10 a.m. Tuesdays, 1-day prior to pick up, to receive a frozen meal pack Wednesdays from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Rohnert Park Senior Center. Seniors 60+, not part of the lunch program, can complete an application by calling 707-525-0143.
Many of our local grocers are offering exclusive hours for seniors and immune compromised residents. We have a list of local grocers that are implementing special service hours available at www.rpcity.org/helping_hands
I believe part of our Friendly City identity is neighbors helping neighbors. Even if it is just a check-up phone call to a friend or family member, or a donation to a local food program - we all can be helpers. Let’s keep being healthy by sheltering in place and think of creative ways that you can help a neighbor.