LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a new program to ensure that seniors across the city of Los Angeles had food to eat amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“All of our work is focused on saving lives, but we know that seniors have been particularly hard hit by this crisis,” Garcetti said during his Wednesday briefing. “Every day, under normal circumstances, our Department of Aging provides meals to our low-income older adults across the city.”

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A number of seniors who relied on that service for food and community would eat their meals at local community and senior centers, Garcetti said. And while those centers are no longer open, the Department of Aging has continued to provide one meal per day to 5,000 seniors across the city.

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But, Garcetti said, with more seniors falling into food insecurity as a result of the pandemic, more needed to be done to ensure their health and wellbeing.

“These are our grandparents and parents, our friends and neighbors,” Garcetti said.

The mayor’s newest initiative, the Emergency Senior Meals Response, will double the number of meals that seniors enrolled in the program receive from five per week to 10 per week, and more than double the number of seniors serviced by the program — 12,000 total.

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“Folks at home can make sure that they are safe from COVID-19 and, at the same time, make sure that does not come at the cost of receiving food,” Garcetti said.

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To sign up for the program — open only to residents of the city of Los Angeles who are 60 or older — call 213-263-5226 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. starting Thursday.

And on Friday and Saturday, the Los Angeles Food Bank will be holding mobile food pantry events via drive-through distribution for those facing food insecurity.

On Friday, the food bank will be located at the Los Angeles Black Worker Center, 5350 Crenshaw Blvd. On Saturday, food distribution will take place in Carson at Teamsters Local 572 headquarters, 450 Carson Plaza, Unit A.

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Distribution will take place from 9 a.m. to noon.