Essentia Health is continuing its commitment to serving our communities by expanding a program called Groceries to Go. The program began several years ago with Age Well Arrowhead, which assists the area’s older adult population. With the help of a grant from Essentia, Age Well Arrowhead and North Country Independent Living were able to partner and expand the program to Douglas County. North Country Independent Living is a non-profit serving people with disabilities in Northwestern Wisconsin.
Groceries to Go connects people with disabilities and older adults to groceries, cleaning products and personal hygiene items. The idea is to increase access to essential items and help individuals maintain their health and wellness. Participants in the program complete a shopping list, then a volunteer does the shopping, delivers the items, unpacks them and opens any products that might be difficult to open. The volunteers then do a touch-base concerning the needs of the individual and connect them to appropriate resources.
“Just knowing that you’re going to have that check-in and support is key for people to not feel alone and isolated, especially during the pandemic,” said Amanda Casady, community health specialist at Essentia.
As much as possible, Casady adds, the volunteer will be the same for each person so they can build critical connections that help foster positive relationships. The program is funded for one year, or until grant money runs out. The grant covers the cost of delivery services and administrative costs.