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OCEAN COUNTY’S elderly residents are being provided a helping hand with their food shopping needs through a partnership of state, county, municipal and community organizations that have come together to assist.

“Unfortunately our seniors are some of the most vulnerable when it comes to exposure to the coronavirus,” said Ocean County Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari, who is Chairman of the Ocean County Office of Senior Services. “As this pandemic moves into weeks, our seniors are fearful of heading to supermarkets.

“While many major food stores have set aside hours for our seniors to shop, panic shopping has left many store shelves empty requiring this susceptible population to venture out several times a week for much needed food and supplies,” Vicari said.

In an effort to help seniors get food into their homes without them having to leave their homes, the Ocean County Office of Senior Services has teamed up with the state, several municipal senior centers and other agencies to provide an answer to this problem.

“Today we are announcing a new program that will help seniors with their food shopping needs,” Vicari said. The program is open to all residents of Ocean County age 60 and older through this unique collaboration between the state, county, municipalities and non-profit agencies.”

“We know many of our seniors can rely on family and neighbors to help with this,” Vicari said. “But sadly many don’t have that option. We want our seniors to be able to ‘stay home’ as mandated by Gov. Murphy and President Trump in order to protect their health and keep them safe during this health crises we are all experiencing.”

The Ocean County Office of Senior Services in partnership with Jersey Cares, the state Department of Human Services, Division on Aging Services, Toms River Township Senior Center and Outreach, Brick Township Senior Center & Outreach, Caregiver Volunteers of Central Jersey, Jackson Township Senior Center, Berkeley Township Senior Outreach, Manchester Township Senior Outreach and St. Francis Senior Center & Outreach on Long Beach Island will participate in providing food-shopping services.

“This partnership will allow our seniors to have their food shopping needs met with one phone call without having to leave the safety of your home,” Vicari said.

To access the service, Ocean County Seniors can call:

Ocean County Office of Senior Services: 732-929-2091

Berkeley Senior Outreach: 732-244-9600

Brick Township Senior Center and Outreach: 732-920-8686

Caregiver Volunteers of Central Jersey: 732-505-2273

Jackson Township Senior Citizen’s Community Center: 732-928-2313

Long Beach Island Senior Center and Outreach: 609-978-6220

Manchester Township Senior Outreach: 732-849-8305

Toms River Township Senior Center and Outreach: 732-341-1000, Ext. 8460