Mar 25 - Serving Seniors Receives Vic Kops Humanitarian Award From San Diego Partnership
March 26, 2021
Contacts: Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, Fellow PRSA – Serving Seniors
Serving Seniors received the Vic Kops Humanitarian Award from the San Diego Downtown Partnership at its annual “Create The Future Awards” ceremony, held virtually on Thursday, March 25.
The Vic Kops Humanitarian Award is presented to an individual or organization in recognition of humanitarian efforts that have enriched and improved San Diego’s urban center. It is the second time Serving Seniors has been honored with this award for its work, with the first in 2002. Previous winners include Veterans Village of San Diego, the San Diego Housing Commission, and the San Diego Police Department Homeless Outreach Team.
“To win this award after such a challenging year is a tribute to the efforts of our dedicated staff and volunteers, who stepped up against the odds to ensure none of the senior clients we serve went without services for even a day,” said Serving Seniors CEO Paul Downey. “COVID-19 threw everything it could at us, but the harder it came at us, the harder we fought back.
“I accept the award on behalf of every single person who contributed to continuing our vital services over the past 12 month under extraordinary circumstances.”
Founded in 1970, Serving Seniors is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving low-income adults aged 60 and over. A leader in senior advocacy and programming, Serving Seniors has created an innovative model of comprehensive services including nutritional meals, housing, health and social services and lifelong learning opportunities to hundreds of seniors in need. It is the largest provider of meals to seniors in San Diego County, and one of the only organizations in the nation providing such a robust range of services to vulnerable, at-risk older adults.
One year ago, on March 12, 2020, Serving Seniors was ordered to shut down its congregate dining service. Virtually overnight, the Serving Seniors team rapidly responded to the urgent health and nutritional needs of San Diego County’s low-income seniors impacted by COVID-19, creating a new program from scratch to provide home-delivered and to-go meals for clients. As a result, Serving Seniors has successfully provided 1.7 million meals to 5,467 clients. Average meals provided per week increased from 13,511 pre-COVID to 33,131 meals provided per week, an increase of nearly 145%.
Along with instructional resources on staying virtually connected and its Connections program to combat crushing social isolation, Serving Seniors continued to improve San Diego’s urban center through its support of the two in five older San Diegans facing economic insecurity. Serving Seniors ensured they received care during a challenging year.
Inspired by the tradition of excellence demonstrated at The Alonzo Awards, the Create the Future Awards recognize some of Downtown’s best and brightest. As in previous years, this will include those championing milestone projects, leading groundbreaking initiatives, and finding creative ways to enhance the Downtown experience.
Visit downtownsandiego.org/events/ctfa/ for a full list of winners.
About Serving Seniors
Founded in 1970, Serving Seniors is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in San Diego, California, dedicated to serving low-income adults aged 60 and over. A leader in senior advocacy and programming, Serving Seniors has created an innovative model of comprehensive services including nutritional meals, housing, health and social services and lifelong learning opportunities to hundreds of seniors in need. It is the largest provider of meals to seniors in San Diego County, and one of the only organizations in the nation providing such a robust range of services to vulnerable, at-risk older adults.
Serving Seniors President and CEO Paul Downey has been instrumental in the organization’s growth over the past 25+ years. Since being appointed the role in 1995, Downey has guided the nonprofit’s innovative efforts to provide supportive services focused on keeping low-income seniors healthy and independent.