and bags with food inside a warehouse before heading out to make deliveries to Houston-area seniors.

Outside, in the parking lot, Geoff Newby packed up a truck with the hot meals that he typically delivers daily. But he also added a box of meals with non-perishable items — canned goods and meats, juices and other foods — that can last his older clients longer.

Interfaith Ministries’ Meals on Wheels is accustomed to operating under difficult conditions such as hurricanes. But concerns about the spread of the new coronavirus and recommendations for social distancing have forced the nonprofit to innovate, relying on practices typically utilized during natural disasters to deliver meals safely.

“Many of our delivery folks are seniors themselves, so we’re trying to both reduce the risk for our drivers and volunteers, as well as reduce the risk for our senior clients who we’re visiting when we deliver the meal,” said Martin Cominsky, CEO of Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston.