More than 3,000 free meals are being handed out three times a day to senior citizens over the age of 65 who are quarantined at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Secluded and isolated under mandatory home quarantine, members of this populace need more help since they don’t have close relatives who can support them at this time.

The food distribution, which began last week, is being overseen and made daily by catering services based in Koltsovo (Yekaterinburg), Kurumoch (Samara), Strigino (Nizhny Novgorod) and Platov (Rostov-on-Don) airports.

The effort is made possible by the Airports of Regions holding company (AR), of which the Renova Group, owned by Jewish businessman and philanthropist Viktor Vekselberg, is a major shareholder. The campaign is set to last at least until the end of April.

Despite the economic downturn that is hitting the aviation industry and airports in particular, AR is trying to do its part to help in the public’s efforts to cope with the pandemic. AR is cooperating with associations of volunteers, as well as with social-service agencies that are able to identify specific recipients and assume responsibility for delivering the nutritious food packages, as well as addressing their need for any medicines.

Renova is also going to provide many regions in the Russian Federation with more than 50,000 reagent kits to conduct COVID-19 tests designed by the Russian company, Evotech Mirai Genomics.

In an attempt by authorities in Russia to contain the coronavirus and protect seniors, citizens above the age of 65 in most regions have been obligated to remain in quarantine from the end of March until May at their respective places of residence or in facilities like residential buildings and summer homes.

Vekselberg, chairman of the board of directors of Renova Group, points out that in the situation, where the coronavirus pandemic turns out to be the most serious challenge that the humankind has faced in the 21st century, all must join forces to save human lives—governments, businesses and public institutions.

© 2020 American Jewish Congress.