The citizens of Van Meter have come together to help create a hotline for those in need of assistance during COVID-19. This could include helping pick up groceries, prescriptions and more. The hotline also strives to help provide resources for residents needing help but are unsure of who to contact.
“I think also being able to provide contacts to some of the resources that are available is very important as some people may not necessarily know where to turn to. So, if we can be there to take a call and provide that support, I think is pretty important,” Van Meter Mayor Allan Adams said.
As a way to encourage those in need of help to reach out to the hotline, local groups such as the Van Meter Community Development Corporation have posted information on their Facebook Page. Signage in town was also put up. Adams said that while a small number of residents have reached out due to the hotline just getting up and running, he expects that these numbers will increase as more people become comfortable with asking for help.
“I think that it is important for everyone to know that they have a lifeline out there and people willing to help if they need it. We have a mix of younger and older folks and especially with the older folks, they may not have a family or may not have a family that is near. So, I believe that it is important for us to be that family for them and help them through this trying time,” Adams said.
Adams recalled an older resident that was in need of help picking up their shopping list. He also recalled a younger couple that had been affected by layoffs who were able to find help with rent assistance and were given a Hy-Vee gift card by the American Legion Post #403.
In addition, Adams anticipates that as the weather continues to improve and lawns start to need maintenance, the community may have some additional requests regarding yard work and spring cleaning.
“Hopefully the supply chain will catch up and people do not have to go to a store and stand in line just to make sure they are able to get what they need. If you are an older person or one that has underlying health conditions, it is especially important that you are not doing this. So, hopefully there will be more of those folks that will reach out and let us help,” Adams said.
Those in need of services provided by the hotline can contact 515-210-8282. Adams also said that the hotline is great for volunteers who are able to help others throughout the local community.
“We have a pretty awesome community and there have been a number of conversations around people wanting to help and wanting to know what they can do to provide some comfort, some relief and some hope to their fellow citizens,” Adams said.