ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Many local nonprofits are struggling to keep up with the demands of serving their clients' needs as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread forcing businesses to shutdown and thousands to be laid off.

Meals on Wheels Atlanta (MOWA) is launching a virtual can drive to make sure the vulnerable population it serves will continue to be cared for during the pandemic. So instead of stocking up on canned goods, MOWA is encouraging people to donate online or through an app.

"Its the easiest way to give," said Hillary Baker, chief of marketing and communications. "The community can literally make an impact while sitting in front of the TV."

For 53 years, the non-profit has relied on volunteers to provide free daily meals to thousands of seniors in the city of Atlanta. For many of their clients the delivery is the first, and sometimes only encounter with a friendly face, Baker said.

The organization relies solely on donations and volunteers, and doesn't receive government funding.

"For our seniors, they are home totally alone and they don’t have access to food. This way of life is their normal. Can you imagine? For us, it’s so satisfying knowing that we can control one thing for a fragile senior where their next meal will come from," she said.

MOWA recently changed its delivery system for the safety of its volunteers and seniors. Volunteers now pick-up meals in bulk on Saturdays, at a drive-thru and deliver to the senior's doorstep. The drop-off provides seniors with seven meals.

Baker said financial donations are critical right now to help support its new bulk delivery system.

"We have front loaded over 35,000 meals to our seniors. This will provide a 2 week supply of fresh, frozen and a month of shelf stable meals. To do this, we have rented freezers, buying three times the amount of food, buying additional packaging, and more," said Baker. "This is a huge unexpected additional expense for us. We need support from the community."

Looking for ways to help during this crisis, click here.

Copyright 2020 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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