PCMOW alters delivery schedule amid pandemic

PICKENS — With the nation reeling from an outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus, Pickens County Meals on Wheels is continuing its service of delivering meals to homebound citizens — with some modifications.

“It is very important that we continue to provide a daily meal and safety check,” according to an email from PCMOW executive director Kim Valentin. “As conditions change, we are modifying how we run our program.”

Effective this week, PCMOW switched to a three-day delivery schedule, with deliveries on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

The organization is delivering a hot meal along with a frozen meal every Monday and Wednesday. On Fridays, the nonprofit will deliver a hot meal along with the weekend frozen meals for those on the weekend frozen program.

“On Tuesday and Thursday, we will be calling all clients for a safety check,” Valentin’s email said.

Volunteer Tuesday-Thursday drivers who would like to continue to help on the Monday-Wednesday-Friday deliveries is asked to contact volunteer coordinator Sally Hancock at (864) 855-3770 or

“We are making these changes to ensure the safety of our clients, volunteers and staff,” Valentin said. “Many of the homebound clients that we serve and visit each day have existing health conditions or suppressed immune systems. Please be mindful of the protocols we have set forth.”

The organization urges volunteers to follow a set of guidelines to help ensure the safety of everyone involved:

• wash hands often

• use hand sanitizer or antibacterial wipes during delivery

• avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth

• avoid contact with sick people

• cover mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing

• contact pcmow as soon as possible if you are sick or feeling unwell and cannot deliver

In addition, the organization is asking drivers who deliver meals to take the extra precaution of placing the meals in a provided plastic bag. Volunteers are asked to hang the bag on the door and knock on the door, then keep a six-foot distance from the door while verifying that the client is home and safe.

Vulnerable seniors are at the greatest risk amid COVID-19, and PCMOW is on the front lines, focused on doing all it can to keep seniors safe and nourished,” Valentin’s email said. “PCMOW is often the primary lifeline delivering so much more than just a meal, especially in uncertain times. We are taking extra precautions to protect these high-risk individuals and preparing for increased demand and new ways of delivering our services.

“Your financial support is needed now more than ever as we face the uncertainty of the days ahead. Major fundraising events scheduled for this spring have been canceled, causing a financial strain on our service to seniors. These events account for $35,000 in the 2020 budget. PCMOW is asking for your financial help. No matter what amount, every donation makes a difference.”