WBNG) — During the pandemic, many elderly and handicapped residents aren’t able to go get groceries like they normally would. So now a local organization is stepping up to make sure they’re getting the help they deserve.
Through their Faith in Action Volunteers program, the Broome County Council of Churches is ordering and delivering groceries for residents around the area.
“In a normal year, we would be driving people to the grocery store,” explained Sue Spencer, the Program Director for the Faith in Action Volunteers, “But at the beginning of COVID we realized that it wasn’t really safe for the volunteers or the clients so we decided that we could place orders online for them and just have our volunteers just deliver them.”
But like all new things, Sue said there was a bit of a learning curve trying to make the program work.
“It was a little crazy trying to get things worked out, but really it’s been going pretty well. And I think the people are very pleased with it and we’ve been able to help a lot of seniors get their groceries on a regular basis.”
Right now, the center gets around three to four calls a week from residents placing orders for groceries and they’re constantly connecting with new people.
“It’s amazing!” Larese Isaacson shared, a Program Coordinator “It’s so much more than just getting them food. Especially during the lockdown, I’d spend an hour on the phone with them, just talking with them. Finding out how they’re doing, ordering their groceries.”
One of their volunteers, Gene Banick, is a senior himself and knows just how important the work they’re doing is.
“They’re happy, they really don’t have anybody else to do it for them. Many of them are old and have some medical handicaps and they don’t get out, so they act pretty favorably.”
Adding that volunteering and being a part of this is very rewarding for him and others like him.
“It’s a good feeling. I feel that those of us who are able should probably try and help the people who are unable.”
“It is totally a lifeline for them,” Isaacson explained “A lot of them tell me it’s saved their life and we’re angels for doing it.”
If you would like to call to order groceries or want to volunteer to be a part of the program, click here for more information.
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