RideConnect will match volunteers with nearby clients and then allow the two parties to make their own appointments. If seniors need volunteers to go to the store for them, then the seniors or their families must make payment arrangements with the stores or give cash to the volunteers to purchase the requested items.
While RideConnect carefully screens the drivers it uses to transport the elderly, it is not screening the grocery volunteers and elderly clients are not supposed to request or accept rides from the volunteers.
“This is a use-at-your-own-risk service. We’re simply trying to help,” said Ganis. “If seniors don’t want to take that risk, they should not. These are people stepping up to help.”
To maintain adequate social distancing, it is recommended that the seniors either leave an envelope with money for the volunteer at their front door or mailbox, or that the senior pay the store directly using a credit card. When groceries are delivered, it is best that they be left outside the front door so that a senior is not exposed to any contagion risk.
Seniors can request a grocery volunteer by calling 914-242-7433. Staff at RideConnect are working remotely, so if no one answers the phone leave a voicemail mentioning requesting grocery help, along with a name, phone number and town.
Yorktown is one of primary communities served by RideConnect. In 2019 the 10-year-old program served more than 2,000 Yorktown residents.
Yorktown Supervisor Matt Slater said the volunteer surge demonstrates how residents in Yorktown and surrounding communities are looking out for their neighbors.
“Since this crisis began we have urged our residents to look after each other. Offering to help our senior citizens with grocery shopping is a great way for healthy adults idled by the mass closures of workplaces to get out of the house and help a neighbor,” said Supervisor Slater. “I urge all the volunteers and seniors using this service to practice safe social distancing so that this effort leads to positive outcomes.”
RideConnect director Karen Ganis, firstname.lastname@example.org or 914-242-7433
Yorktown Supervisor Matt Slater, 914-962-5722 x201
This news is courtesy of Matt Slater and RideConnect