Fairbanks Senior Center gets ready to distribute supplies to Fairbanks seniors in response to coronavirus pandemic

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) The Fairbanks Senior Center issued a press release on Wednesday revealing that they would be limiting access to their building beginning Monday, March 16, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is in addition to group activities such as classes or meetings at the center being canceled, and sit-down lunches being replaced by “box lunches served on a drive-up basis”.

The Fairbanks Senior Center is getting ready to act as a base of operations during the coronavirus pandemic, and deliver supplies to Fairbanks seniors. (Alex Bengel/KTVF)

In the event that any staff tests positive for the virus, the building will totally shut down, and its Meals on Wheels program will be delivered from the Food Bank. “Everything’s going to be senior-friendly and shelf stable,” says Darlene Supplee, Executive Director at the center.

Supplee mentions that the center is looking for younger volunteers to aid in this effort, as the majority of their volunteers are over 60 years old. “I have one gentleman who’s 90,” she says. Meals will be hung on door handles rather than handed to recipients.

The staff is also getting the center ready for it to operate as a base of operations. “If we have seniors who need things, they can call here, and then we can start distributing that need out into the community,” Supplee says. “This particular virus, as we all know, is really moving its way into the aging population -- so everybody needs to settle, then call us, then let us get you the things that you need.”

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