Ocean County Press Release
MANY Elderly and frail senior citizens in Ocean County are homebound and needing assistance for some of the simplest staples in life.
"What was once available to many of our frailest seniors through their caregivers and family, has now become difficult for them to obtain during a time of social distancing and stay at home mandates," said Ocean County Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari, chairman of Senior Services. "Now, more than ever, I am asking for help for our seniors."
With assistance from Causeway Family of Dealerships in Stafford Township and Lester Glenn Auto Group in Toms River, Community Services Inc., Ocean County's senior meal provider and the Ocean County Office of Senior Services will be collecting everyday items for seniors receiving meals under the county's home delivered meals program.
The list of items most needed are:
• Toilet paper
• Paper towels
• Disinfecting Wipes
• Hand Sanitizer
All items must be new and in their manufacturers packaging.
"I want to thank Dave Wintrode from Causeway and Adam Kraushaar from Lester Glenn and all the staff at those dealerships for providing us with locations for donation collection sites," Vicari said.
"Our seniors are fearing they will run out of essential household items like toilet paper and other necessities as the coronavirus outbreak continues.
"So many of these seniors are in their 80s and beyond," Vicari said. "They are scared, lonely and anxious and even if we can do just a small part to help alleviate these concerns, I know it would mean the world to them."
Starting on Thursday, April 2, a Meals on Wheels of Ocean County van will be parked at Causeway Ford and Lincoln Service Department, Route 72, Manahawkin. Individuals can drop off items from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Donated items should be marked for "Meals on Wheels."
A Meals on Wheels van also will be located at Lester Glenn Hyundai / Chevrolet located at 386 Route 37, Toms River, for donations for seniors. Items can be dropped off from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, in the Meals on Wheels van at that site.
"Lester Glenn Auto Group has been a part of the community for over 60 years and it's an honor to be a part of the ‘Helping the Seniors Program,'" Kraushaar said.
Residents who are donating items should practice social distancing when dropping items off.
"I would suggest to our residents that would like to donate that if you pick up some extra items at the food store, drop by one of the designated car dealerships with the donation after you have finished your shopping," Vicari said. "I do not want anyone to leave their homes just to drop off a donation.
"While we have to do things differently, we can still help those who are in need," Vicari said.
James G. Sigurdson, Executive Director of Meals on Wheels of Ocean County, said they are delivering meals daily to more than 1,000 seniors living in Ocean County.
"This is so important for these seniors to get these meals and a few moments of social contact with someone," Sigurdson said. "Our drivers are letting us know our seniors are in need of basic household items.
"I appreciate Freeholder Vicari, the Board of Freeholders, the car dealerships, the Office of Senior Services for quickly stepping up to help out," he said. "There is a spirit of generosity that is alive in Ocean County and I appreciate the assistance and help."
If anyone would like to make a direct donation of these items to Meals on Wheels they can contact Sigurdson at 609-978-6869, Ext. 6204 or the Ocean County Office of Senior Services at 732-929-2091.