This past Thursday marked the 3,000th grocery bag delivered by the Office for Senior Resources staff to the seniors of Putnam County. In addition to the daily home delivered meals and program materials transported to homebound seniors, OSR’s drivers bring a special package every Thursday. Those seniors who come to one of OSR’s 4 Friendship Centers to pick up a Grab n’ Go lunch during this pandemic also share in the bounty and receive a weekly grocery bag.
This bounty is courtesy of the United Way of Putnam and Westchester and the Food Bank of Hudson Valley under the direction of Food Drive Coordinator Faith Butcher. Each week the bag is different, and it might contain pieces of fruit, vegetables, onions (lots of onions!), yogurt, snacks, coffee, tea, a beverage, canned goods, eggs, bread, cheese and other items. Each Thursday morning, dozens of volunteers from the United Way, local food banks, other community organizations and local government come together to sort and bag truckloads of goods. The response of the Putnam County community to those in need during this coronavirus pandemic has been extraordinary and it is most appreciated by our seniors who look forward to each weekly surprise.
Our seniors are most at risk to dangers of the coronavirus, and the daily Home Delivered Meals, daily Grab n’ Go lunches, and the weekly United Way Food Bank Grocery Bag programs all work to help minimize the amount of shopping and the subsequent public exposure risk to our seniors. OSR has focused not only on the nutritional needs of Putnam County’s seniors during this crisis which has forced the temporary closure of its senior Friendship Centers but also on combating the dangers of loneliness and social isolation through a variety of telephone and internet video programs: Coffee and Conversation, Brain Fitness, Virtual Bingo, Zoom Dancing, Book Club Chats, Caregiver Support Groups, Online Exercise Classes and is working on more creative resources. 50 classes a week are offered! Any seniors interested in finding out more are invited to call the Office for Senior Resources at (845) 808-1700.