By Eliott Rodriguez

MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The senior residents at Carrie Meek Manor in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood have met the COVID-19 imposed restrictions with a pretty positive attitude.

“We haven’t been stressful because we all get along. Very seldom do we go out, and nobody has been sick, so we do pretty good among ourselves,” said resident Willy Dames.

Consider that they are among the most at-risk of the population during this pandemic: over 65, African Americans, many with underlying health concerns.

“A lot of us that live here, we’ve got people on dialysis that eat certain food, then we have people here that are bedridden,” Dames explains.

Fortunately, through a partnership struck up by neighboring organization The Overtown Youth Center and DeliverLean- a direct to consumer service –their access to meals, has not been a concern.

Nikolas Franz is a driver with DeliverLean, he’s just arriving with loads of meals.

“We are here at Carrie Meek and here is a senior home where we give around 75 to 80 meals to the seniors. We come every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. For people who are vegan vegetarian, pescatarian even, it will fit in perfectly for your diet and it’s really good food too.”

Tina Brown is CEO of The Overtown Youth Center. She realized early on in the pandemic that the need was well beyond the kids and families they serve.

“The City of Miami police of course helped us to identify the residents in the area that needed support,” Brown said. “Then, when I went back to them [DeliverLean] to say ‘we need some additional meals to feed some of our seniors’ they didn’t hesitate. They said ‘what do you need? Let us know’.”

The fresh meals are healthy, brought straight to the residents, for free, and with a dash of celebrity flair too. The Overtown Youth Center’s founder and biggest fan is personally involved.

“They love it, they eat it up. Alonzo Mourning comes and he brings us food,” said Dames.

DeliverLean has distributed over 100,000 meals and 80,000 non-perishable items since March. It’s a win-win all around.

“Ever since we started all this fundraising and giving out food to the homeless, it’s been really great I feeling amazing doing it,” Franz stated.

For Dames, who volunteers to sort the meals and get them to each resident, it’s a blessing.

“We depend on it now, it’s a thing they do for us and we appreciate it,” Dames said.

Eliott Rodriguez

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