BY GRANT LANCASTER
An Episcopal church in the West Village is trying to help New York’s seniors reduce their risk of exposure to COVID-19 by delivering groceries free of charge, even if the seniors do not have internet access.
St. John’s in the Village is partnering with Invisible Hands, a nonprofit that delivers groceries to the elderly and immuno-compromised during the pandemic, to make a way for seniors without internet access to get groceries without leaving their house.
The service began in April as a way to serve the most at-risk, who may not have access to the variety of grocery-delivery services popping up online as a result of the stay-at-home order, said Father Graeme Napier, rector at St. John’s.
To use the service, all people have to do is call 929-292-9235 from 3-5 p.m. on any weekday – no internet connection required.
Volunteers will take the callers’ grocery orders and arrange for them to be delivered by the grocery store’s in-house delivery service or picked up and delivered by Invisible Hand volunteers, Napier said.
The church will cover the cost of the orders and the deliveries, and reimbursement is entirely optional, Napier said. One of the reasons for this is to keep these seniors, many of whom use mostly cash, from having to go to a bank or ATM to get money, which increases their risk of infection.
Napier encouraged New Yorkers to share the phone number for the service with any seniors or immuno-compromised friends or family who do not have internet access to order groceries, he said.