WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — For seniors in Waterbury, like Maria Guliano, dealing with the pandemic has been tough, especially now that the city is experiencing an uptick in positive cases.
It’s leaving many seniors concerned about where they will get their food since they’re afraid to venture out because they’re one of the more vulnerable groups when it comes to contracting COVID-19.
“I’m concerned about that every time I go to the grocery store,” Guliano said.
The Waterbury Senior Center said it’s getting more phone calls from seniors looking for help when it comes to getting food.
“Many are scared,” said the center’s director, Danessa Marshall. “Now we see with the number of viruses going back up, we see people are going back into isolation.”
The senior center has a program that delivers food to seniors who tell them they need it. On Friday, a group of community volunteers, including officers and kids from Waterbury’s Police Activities League (PAL) program, stepped up to help.
“It means a lot,” said Brandon Pittman, a PAL volunteer. “Like, I’m making a change in the world for people who can’t come out and get the certain foods that they need.”
That included Connie Sands, a senior in a wheelchair who got boxes filled with fruit, milk, hamburger and vegetables.
“My immune system still isn’t up to code,” she said. “Because last January/February, I almost died twice. I went in septic shock.”
She was glad to see the PAL volunteers show up at her door.
“Them doing this for us…it’s a beautiful thing,” she said. “It really is.”
“I love my community,” said Amari Brantley, another PAL volunteer. “And I love the people who are elderly in my community.”
In another part of the city, Katherine Stephens was getting her food delivered to her, too. She is another senior who didn’t have to worry about venturing out.
“It makes me feel safe because I’m diabetic,” she said.
Volunteers delivered 783 meals on Friday — 47,276 meals since March when the pandemic hit Waterbury.
“We really care about them,” said Ben Radcliffe, another volunteer.
“It’s nice to be able to help people,” added Ben’s brother, Noah.