A neighbor to neighbor program run by the Compassionate Ridgefield volunteers is providing shopping and visits, and Meals on Wheels is expanding its long-established food delivery program to serve people who may be self-isolating due to coronavirus concerens.

“We are able to help Ridgefield residents who need meals delivered,” said Hilary Aronow of Meals on Wheels.

“We are available to help all Ridgefield seniors and residents with chronic medical conditions who are self-isolating because of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

“If you or someone you know needs meals, contact our kitchen at 203-438-8788 or sign up online at https://www.mealsonwheelsofridgefield.org/becoming-a-client.

“Prices are affordable and assistance is available for anyone in financial need.

“Stay safe and healthy!”

Helpful neighbors

Carol Mahlstedt of the Compassionate Ridgefield group described their efforts to shop for home-bound Ridgefielders.

“The initiative is called ‘Neighbors Helping Neighbors’ and is being sponsored by Compassionate Ridgefield,” she said.

A release from Compassionate Ridgefield says:

“The CDC recommends that people over 60 or in high-risk groups avoid congregate settings. We have seniors who may be in need of a friendly ear or a neighbor willing to pick up groceries.

“If you are a senior in need of a caring neighbor, we are here for you. Please email compassionproject06877@gmail.com with ‘Senior Ridgefielder’ in the subject line, or call 203-431-7000.

“If you are a caring neighbor willing to help a senior, let us know. Please email compassionproject06877@gmail.com with ‘Caring Neighbor’ in the subject line.”

Background

Mahlsted provided some of organization’s background on the program. “Importantly, we envision this (as much as possible) as a ‘matching service’ — that is, the senior will be paired with a ‘caring neighbor’ and hopefully that will remain in place during this crisis,” she said.

“This is to reduce any anxiety/fear on the part of seniors, as well as any possible scamming. Obviously if the caring neighbor becomes ill or unavailable, we find find someone else to help.

“Every caring neighbor will undergo a background check which is being done by the Town of Ridgefield. In addition, each ‘partnership’ will create their own secret password, such as ‘yellow canary’ to ensure that seniors do not get taken advantage of or scammed in any way.

“Seniors are being asked to keep grocery requests to 20 items or less (as a loose rule) and prescriptions must be ordered and paid for over the phone so the caring neighbor just has to pick them up.

“Purchases of alcohol, liquor or cigarettes is prohibited. Seniors can ask for help by emailing compassionproject06877@gmail.com or by calling 203-431-7000 (thanks to the assistance of Grace Weber and Founders Hall).