‘Meals of Love’ program hatches at The Coop, aims to feed Winter Park seniors

Seniors can text, call, visit website for assistance

The dining room is closed, but things are busy inside The Coop, located in Winter Park.

WINTER PARK, Fla. – The dining room is closed, but things are busy inside The Coop, located in Winter Park.

"It's been a roller coaster to say the least," general manager Jonathan Poweski said. ""On the menu today is chicken and fried rice. At the end of the day, this is going to look like 230 completed meals."

The restaurant is helping out as part of "Meals of Love," a newly created program in Central Florida meant to help feed isolated seniors and adults living with debilitates during the coronavirus crisis.

The program serves individuals in Orange, Seminole, Brevard and Osceola counties with the help of the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, Senior Resource Alliance, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation and the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association. It will work in partnership with the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Resource Center, Aging Matters in Brevard, Brevard Alzheimer’s Foundation, Informed Families, Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association, Inc., Meals on Wheels, Etc., Seniors First, Share the Care and the Osceola Council on Aging.

Poweski told News 6 how the meals they are preparing today will be delivered tomorrow, and how their workflow has changed dramatically.

"We have always been more of a dine-in restaurant," he said. "It takes a lot more creativity I think. When we're creating meals for individual families or groups of people, it's all about freshness and quality. When you do for a large quantity like this, you have to achieve the same quality and freshness, but on a much larger scale."

Seniors and adults with disabilities interested in receiving food from meals of love can still sign up by reaching out in any of the following ways:

Hotline: (321) 360-6315

Español: (321) 253-4430 ext. 104

Direct Line: 321-253-4430

Text/SMS: Text “Mealsoflove” to 94253

Website: mealsoflove.org

About the Author:

It has been an absolute pleasure for Clay LePard living and working in Orlando since he joined News 6 in July 2017. Previously, Clay worked at WNEP TV in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where he brought viewers along to witness everything from unprecedented access to the Tobyhanna Army Depot to an interview with convicted double-murderer Hugo Selenski.