Senior Meal Emergency Response Program / Great Plates / Food and Delivery Assistance / COVID-19 Pandemic

MOTION-- The City has partnered with Los Angeles restaurants, hospitality businesses, and
franchise taxi companies to create the Senior Meal Emergency Response Program as part of
the City’s COVID-19 response. The “Great Plates” program is designed to support those most
at risk during the COVID-19 pandemic, older adults aged 60-64 with underlying medical
conditions, and all adults over age 65. As COVID-19 continues to ravage vulnerable populations
in Los Angeles and throughout the country, County data show that adults over 65 years old
account for 75 percent of deaths related to complications caused by COVID-19. Infection rates
are growing by the day, and daily infections broke records in late June. There is an ongoing
need for the City to ensure that seniors are getting meals and assistance daily.

Unfortunately, the “Great Plates" program included means-testing that prohibited
individuals earning less than $24.981 annually from participating in the program. The federal
government’s rules were meant to ensure that the assistance provided was to unique
individuals that were not receiving other forms of help. This bottle neck is hurting LA’s seniors,
because it had the effect of ensuring that thousands were denied help.

The City Council must provide direction to learn from the “Great Plates” program and
instruct relevant City departments to conduct a comprehensive review, in order to strengthen
City programs, and to inform us in the development of future assistance. This report should
also include recommendations in order to ensure that the City is partnering with the appropriate
federal, state and county agencies on food and assistance delivery to LA’s seniors.

I THEREFORE MOVE that the City Council INSTRUCT the Department of Aging, with
assistance from the Housing and Community Investment Department, the City Administrative
Officer, and the Chief Legislative Analyst, to report on the following:

• Recommendations for a new Council led outreach and feeding program focused on LA's
• An analysis of funding and service delivery gaps related to food assistance and outreach
• A review of the Senior Meal Emergency Response Program, known as “Great Plates",
including a geographical breakdown of community participation with an emphasis on
seniors in areas that requested assistance but received none
• Recommendations on improving restaurant participation and meal delivery within the
“Great Plates" program
• A review of federal, state, county and non-profit assistance programs available to the
City’s senior population