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United Way HPE filling a gap for seniors with help from local businesses
United Way Hastings & Prince Edward, in partnership with Performance Sales & Accessories and Bullet Signs & Graphics are ensuring isolated seniors in our area have access to grocery shop & delivery services.
“Our area is rich with a senior population, and it’s so important that they remain home where they are safe,” said Brandi Hodge, Executive Director, United Way Hastings & Prince Edward, “however, that means some seniors, who don’t have friends, family or neighbours who can shop for them, are unable to get the basic needs and are quickly running out of the items they did have.”
To fill that need, the organization is piloting a grocery shop and delivery service in Belleville this week. In an effort to avoid duplication, United Way HPE is working with other agencies and services across the region who are offering the grocery shop/delivery service in their area; where these services aren’t available, United Way HPE is committed to filling the gap.
Performance Sales & Accessories of Belleville jointly owned by Terry Albert and Ron Abrams have provided the vehicle at no cost. “We know our community is struggling and as a business in the area we felt it was our responsibility to do what we can to help,” said Albert “by providing a vehicle to United Way HPE we can ensure that they have the resources they need to support our local seniors.”
Bullet Signs & Graphics provided the graphics for the vehicle saying “It’s important that the van is easily identifiable so that seniors feel safe when someone drops items off at their door.” says Dave Sharkey of Bullet. “This is a valuable service, and we’re proud to be a part of it.”
The program is currently being funded by United Way HPE’s COVID-19 Community Response Fund - just over $22,000 has been raised by community members and groups to support the increased needs in the HPE region and a portion of those funds are supporting the grocery program.
A nationwide $9 million investment in seniors programming was announced by the federal government last week and United Way HPE does believe a portion of those funds will support our community. “We do anticipate that our area will receive some of those funds but we are awaiting confirmation.” said Hodge. “We will work closely with organizations who are providing supports and services to seniors to ensure every corner of our region benefits and seniors receive the help they need to weather this storm. We expect to have some more information to share in the coming days.”
Seniors who do not have help available to get their groceries living in:
· Belleville, Thurlow, Quinte West, Tyendinaga, and Deseronto can call the United Way HPE office at 613-962-9531
· Central Hastings (Stirling, Marmora, Madoc or Tweed) can call Community Care for Central Hastings at 613-478-2224 - then hit “0”
· North Hastings (Bancroft, Faraday Twp, Carlow/Mayo Twp, Wollaston Twp, Limerick Twp and parts of Tudor & Cashel Twp) - call Bancroft Community Transit at 613-334-2385
· Prince Edward County can call the Prince Edward County hotline at 1-833-676-2148
“This is a new program for us, “ says Hodge “so we’re asking people to be patient. We’ve worked with public health officials to ensure appropriate safety protocols are in place, drop offs will be at the door eliminating face to face contact, and grocery orders will be limited to 20 - 25 items so we can keep them a manageable size for the shoppers.”
United Way Hastings & Prince Edward provides leadership in a collaborative manner with our Funded Agencies and others to increase the capacity of our community to respond to human services needs. We support 1 in 4 people in our local community through the 44 agencies and over 65 programs we support.