In response to an increase in demand for food assistance, and to ensure that their most-at-risk clients receive the essentials, Person-to-Person (P2P) has implemented a new home delivery system, called Door2Door, for those unable to leave their homes during the COVID-19 crisis.
— an announcement from Person-to-Person
Using a contactless system of delivery, volunteer drivers are dropping off bags of groceries at the doorsteps of P2P clients who are not able to make an in-person visit to one of their three food pantries, whether due to age, disability, illness, or other high-risk category.
P2P has food pantry locations in Darien, Norwalk, and a mobile pantry in Stamford, and has seen a sharp increase in the need for food assistance at all three of their locations.
“We have many clients who are seniors or need to remain in their homes. No one should have to choose between their safety and access to food,” shares Nancy Coughlin, CEO of Person-to-Person. “With the help of volunteers, we were able to quickly adapt our services to make sure no one goes hungry during this crisis.”
On the first week of the Door2Door home delivery program, drivers delivered bags of groceries, packed in our pantries, to sixty area homes. Max, a Stamford resident and P2P client, had not needed to use the food pantry in two years.
But due to sudden job loss, Max found himself in need of food for himself and his elderly mother. Because of illness and lack of transportation, and despite several attempts, Max explained that he was unable to make it to a pantry.
“Person-to-Person came through for me in this uncertain time. I was stuck at home with no food, and the delivery came right when we needed it.”
P2P Board members Kim Dickinson and Jackie Leonard worked with Juri Garone, P2P’s Manager of Volunteers and Community Relations, to develop the Door2Door program, which involves the daily coordination of drivers and clients.
Demand for Services Way Up
A Person-to-Person post Friday, April 3, on Facebook:
- “Looking back over the past week, we are continuing to see substantial increases in need for all of our services. During the month of March, we provided 67% more rental assistance over the same month last year.
- “Requests for food assistance are up dramatically at all three of our food pantry locations. In just one day this week, our Darien food pantry alone served 163 people as compared to 66 on March 2nd.
- “We anticipate that needs will continue to escalate in the weeks ahead. It is with the care and compassion of the community that we are able to meet the increased demand for these critical services.”
“You can hear the relief in client’s voices when we offer them the option for home delivery of their food order. They are very appreciative and thankful for our recognition that it is safer for them to stay home during this COVID-19 crisis,” Leonard said.
Working with community partners has been critical in ensuring that seniors in need are identified. In Norwalk, the Senior Services Coordinating Council, Inc. is actively involved in making daily deliveries from P2P’s Norwalk food pantry to Norwalk seniors.
The First Congregational Church of Norwalk, a long-time partner of P2P, was instrumental in launching this program. In Stamford, P2P is partnering with Stamford Together, a citywide volunteer program that was formed to support the city’s response efforts related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Door2Door program is reliant on volunteers, and more are needed to help pre-pack groceries and to deliver them to the doorsteps of client’s homes and apartment buildings.
Packing is done at P2P’s Darien location, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., in an open space following social distancing protocols. Anyone who is in a position to help should contact Juri Garone, P2P’s manager of volunteers, at JuriGarone@p2pHelps.org or call (203)621-0703.