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Supporting San Diego elderly with food and friendship during the pandemic

Posted at 5:19 PM, Aug 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-06 20:19:04-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — As the elderly population is told to stay home to protect themselves from coronavirus, a group like ElderHelp is necessary.

ElderHelp has been helping seniors with anything from giving rides to grocery shopping for decades. Now, they have adapted to COVID-19 restrictions, with a system where volunteers pick up groceries from the nonprofit's hub, then drive the food and supplies to the seniors’ homes to deliver without contact.

ElderHelp has seen a 773% increase in requests for service since the pandemic began and now completes 522 deliveries on average every week.

Carol Greene is one of the seniors who has food delivered to her San Diego home and said the communication with the staff brightens her days.

“I look at ElderHelp as all the sunshine. You might be at home on your normal, boring day at times and whoop there’s the phone,” she said.

They just received a $100,000 grant from the San Diego Foundation but say they are still always in need of both donations and volunteers, especially in light of the recent increase in demand.

Nicole Darling has been volunteering with ElderHelp since 2003 and said the seniors appreciate the food, but always seem to enjoy the interaction as well, especially during a time of isolation.

“It’s a small amount of effort to make a huge amount of good for people who are really vulnerable and alone,” said Darling.