****Update on April 2, 2020****
I wanted to share how HANDS is responding to needs in the senior community as we all struggle with Coronavirus 19. This may change, as things are shifting so suddenly these days.
With senior centers, senior housing, and long-term nursing centers now closed to visitors and in-home health care on-hold, seniors feel more and more isolated. Many of these folks, especially those living alone, face loneliness, social isolation, lack of proper nutrition and meals, insufficient health checks and medical treatments, unfilled prescriptions, and a great deal of anxiety and fear. HANDS is partnering with Heineberg Community Senior Center to provide outreach to these seniors. Our brand-new “Support Buddies” program partners isolated seniors, 60 years or older, with volunteers willing to help. We are beginning with the greater Burlington area and will expand further if/when we are able.
How you can help:
-Please touch base with older adults you know. Call to see if they need help and then add them to our “Support Buddies” at this link if they’d like phonecall check-ins, food delivered, and/or other errands: https://heinebergcsc.org
-If you have time, please consider becoming a “Support Buddy”. We’ll need help with grocery shopping and delivery, phonecalls made to isolated seniors, and other help as time goes on. Every buddy relationship will be tailored to the senior’s individual needs. Please sign up at: https://heinebergcsc.org
-We are partnering with the City of Burlington (thank you, Will Clavelle!) in lining up restaurants in the area who want to help. They have supplies on hand and a staff they’d like to keep employed. So far, we will be receiving meals from August First, City Market, Great Northern, and Penny Cluse Café.
-We don’t want seniors to go hungry! If a senior you know needs groceries or meals, we will help get them food, even if they are not able to pay for it themselves. Please contact Beth at 802-863-3982, Ext 2 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Megan at email@example.com.
-Please consider a financial donation to HANDS at www.handsvt.org/wish-list or drop off Hannaford or Market 32 grocery cards at Heineberg Senior Center any Tuesday or Thursday from 9:00-11:00am (please ring the doorbell and we’ll come out).
We will be filling gaps in getting food and other needed supplies to seniors until it’s safe for those folks to be gathering again. Thank you so much for your help!
****In NO case will volunteers enter the homes of any seniors, even if invited! We ask that volunteers sanitize before and after any delivery. Our priority is to keep seniors safe. It’s the only way to stall the spread of this virus.****
Very special thanks to Beth Hammond, Executive Director at Heineberg Community Senior Center. Beth has been at the core of implementing our “buddy system” and I thank her from the bottom of my heart for her help in responding to this community concern.
Thanks to each and every one of you who make our community so kind, most especially in these uncertain times!
Megan J. Humphrey, Executive Director of HANDS
Beth Hammond, Executive Director of Heineberg Community Senior Center
HANDS is a small non-profit whose mission is to provide food for older adults (50 years+) in Vermont….with the generous help of hundreds of organizations, businesses, and volunteers. Specifically, we offer a meal and giftbags for about 800 folks on Christmas Day throughout Chittenden County with the help of Age Well, Burlington School Food Project, Michelle Charron and the Elks Club, Penny Cluse Café, Temple Sinai, and hundreds of volunteers and businesses; develop “HANDS in the Dirt” gardening programs in partnership with Red Wagon Plants, Vermont Community Garden Network, and gardening expert Charlie Nardozzi at senior housing, long-term care nursing centers, and community garden sites; provide “HANDS in the Kitchen” workshops with Chef Robin that cover such topics as cooking for one, shopping on a budget, eating healthy foods, & so much more; and offer weekly hot meal delivery to low-income seniors in Winooski, a town with few fresh food options, through a partnership with Feeding Chittenden’s “Good Food Truck”.
Please check our “What We Do” page for more specific info about each program.
Any level of financial support is welcome. Even $5 will help us meet this year’s fundraising goal. On behalf of older adults in Vermont, of whom 7,800 experience some form of food insecurity according to 2013 Hunger Free Vermont statistics, thank you so much for your generosity in making the life of a senior a little bit brighter!