Going to grocery store dangerous for most vulnerable

By Bonnie Boyce-Wilson
Posted 4/12/20

Northwest Valley Connect (NVC) is now delivering groceries and medications to our clients in the West Valley. Our vulnerable adults age 65+ and/or with disabilities need the communities help more than ever right now during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Going to grocery store dangerous for most vulnerable

NVC
Posted

Northwest Valley Connect (NVC) is now delivering groceries and medications to our clients in the West Valley. Our vulnerable adults age 65+ and/or with disabilities need the communities help more than ever right now during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Not only are seniors already a vulnerable population, AARP reports that they are extra vulnerable to the virus because “older adults experience a gradual deterioration of their immune system, making it harder for their body to fight off diseases and infection. Many are also more likely to have underlying conditions that hinder the body’s ability to cope and recover from illness.”

They need our help and they don’t know where to find it, but at Northwest Valley Connect, we are working to bridge that gap.

For example, let’s talk about a Northwest Valley Connect client named “Nancy.”

An NVC volunteer called her to check in on her because of the growing pandemic concerns of COVID-19 overwhelming the world now, with higher effects on the elderly and those with underlying health issues. She stated that it was so nice to have someone checking in on her.

The volunteer talked to her about a new service called Food Connect that will help seniors order their groceries online and get them delivered to their front porch for free through Northwest Valley Connect volunteers.

Nancy was so grateful, she explained how “difficult” and “terrifying” it is for those her age to go out to grocery stores without worrying about competing with those younger than her and possibly compromising her health.

She expressed deep concern that she would only have enough toilet paper and water for her special medications for the next week or so but could not find these at any of the stores since others are hoarding them. Nancy was gravely concerned for her well-being even though she was currently healthy. In fact, she stated she is more concerned about getting food to eat and basics to live on than getting COVID-19.

Unfortunately, this conversation with Nancy wasn’t just an isolated incident that one individual is experiencing, many others aging in place expressed the same concerns over the phone last week during phone calls from Northwest Valley Connect volunteers who were checking on them.

We at Northwest Valley Connect are working to fill this need in the aging community amidst the unknowns of COVID-19 by delivering food and supplies to our vulnerable clients. Our volunteers have designed a program called Food Connect, where those 65+ and/or disabled and in need of groceries can call NVC to receive assistance in completing their grocery order online with the help of a volunteer.

The volunteer will schedule pick-up for the order for the day and time that the client wants her groceries delivered. A volunteer will pick up the groceries from the store and drop them off at the client’s front porch.

In addition, NVC is offering to assist our clients who are aging in place who may have been receiving food bank boxes before the pandemic outbreak. NVC helps to deliver needed food from food banks. Ultimately, the hope of Northwest Valley Connect is to assist our seniors in staying healthy and happy during a time in history when just going to the grocery store could provide a grave diagnosis for them.

Let’s keep our elderly community stocked, safe, and supported!

Bonnie Boyce-Wilson is the chairwoman of the Northwest Valley Connect board of directors.

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