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Great Plates Delivered FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions


What is the Great Plates Delivered program?

Great Plates Delivered San Mateo County will deliver three free meals a day to older adults in San Mateo County who are at heightened risk due to COVID-19 and are unable to obtain or prepare meals on their own while sheltering in place during the coronavirus outbreak. Currently, Great Plates Delivered is funded through June 7, 2021.

Who qualifies?

Great Plates Delivered San Mateo County will serve older adults who meet all of the following criteria:

  •  Aged 65 and older, as well as older adults who are aged 60-64 and in high-risk categories (i.e., people who have received a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, have been exposed to COVID-19, or who have underlying health conditions).
  • Unable to obtain or make their own meals.
  • Living alone or with one other adult who also meets these criteria.
  • Earning less than $74,940 for single-person households or $101,460 for two-person households.
  • Older adults who currently receive state or federal food assistance such as CalFresh or home-delivered meals are not eligible to enroll into this program. Disenrolling from a food assistance program is not recommended and will not qualify applicants for the meal program.

How do I sign up?

Call 1-800-675-8437. This line is operated by Aging and Adult Services (AAS) and is available 24-hours a day, seven days a week. However, applicants will only be signed up weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. AAS is closed most state and national holidays.

What does it cost?

San Mateo County directly reimburses restaurants, so there is no cost to participants. Great Plates Delivered participants will receive up to three free meals daily from a local restaurant. Once enrolled, participants do not directly order meals. Instead, San Mateo County will reach out to the food vendor to arrange meal delivery and will discuss any food allergies or dietary restrictions that must be accommodated. Deliveries will be contactless for safety, and all individuals delivering meals are subject to background checks.

Can I pick the restaurant?

At the time of enrollment, participants are given a set of restaurants to choose from and will receive meals from Monday through Saturday. All meals are based off a preset menu which follows select dietary guidelines for older adults.

What if I have an issue with my delivery? Who do I contact?

If you are receiving meals through Great Plates Delivered San Mateo County and have an issue with your delivery, please call 1-833-650-2271 and leave a message. We receive a high volume of calls and your message will be returned as soon as possible.

Do I need documentation or other verification to prove I’m eligible?

 To see if you are eligible for the program, call 1-800-675-8437. You will be asked a series of questions to determine eligibility. No documentation is necessary.

I’m on another food program, should I disenroll?

No—if you are currently receiving CalFresh or home-delivered meals (such as Meals on Wheels) or another federally funded meal delivery program, don’t leave it! Those programs can have waiting lists, and this program is for a limited time only. San Mateo County will not accept applicants who disenroll from other food assistance programs in favor of Great Plates Delivered. Currently, Great Plates Delivered is only funded through July 10, 2020.

What if I’m not eligible for Great Plates Delivered but need food assistance?

Call the AAS Hotline at 1-800-675-8437 for information about available resources and for help identifying the right options for your circumstances. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Visit Network of Care to find information about Delivery Services, Financial Counseling, Food Resources and more.

Contact one of our Core Agencies in San Mateo County.

What if I want to receive less than 3 meals (1 or 2 meals) per day?

If you are eligible to receive meals through the Great Plates Delivered program, you will receive 3 meals per day. The program does not provide an option to receive 1 or 2 meals per day. You also cannot specify whether you receive breakfast, lunch or dinner.

What if I have dietary restrictions due to a health condition, food allergy, or religion?

The Great Plates Delivered program works with our contracted restaurant partners to ensure that dietary restrictions are considered when your meals are prepared. When you speak to one of our Great Plates Delivered representatives, please let them know about these dietary restrictions.

NOTE: we are unable to honor meal preferences, unless they are related to a medical condition, food allergy or religion.

 I own a restaurant. How do I sign up to provide meals?

Please fill out the restaurant interest form in your choice of English, Spanish, or Chinese. We occasionally draw new restaurants to add to the program, but filling out the interest form is no guarantee of selection.