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Remain Safe and Warm with SAGE’s Grocery Service

Julie Pedersen

Thursday, January 16, 2014 • 1:30pm

This week, Jean Fellows of Summit requested Fudge Ripple ice cream and other grocery items through SAGE Eldercare’s Grocery Shopping and Errand Service.  “My cousin told me about the program and I have been using the service from SAGE for the past six months,” noted Jean.  She is just one of more than a dozen area residents who get a helping hand with grocery deliveries and errands on a regular basis from SAGE. 

“Each week, Marguerite (one of SAGE’s Shopping Coordinators) comes to my home on Monday morning to get my shopping request and then she or a SAGE volunteer delivers the order on Wednesday morning.  I can stay safe and warm at home and they will bring me what I need from the store, including Milk Bones for my dog, Charlie.  And, I am so happy to get a visit from them each week -- I only wish they’d stay longer,” stated Jean.

On Wednesday mornings, volunteers for the service meet the shopping coordinator at the Berkeley Heights Stop ‘n Shop to shop and then deliver the items to older adults who live in Berkeley Heights, Chatham, Madison, Mountainside, New Providence and Summit.  On Thursday mornings, volunteers shop at the Millburn Shoprite and deliver groceries and other items to seniors who live in Millburn, Short Hills, Springfield, and parts of Union.

SAGE Eldercare’s Grocery Shopping and Errand Service has grown from three clients in 1998 to about 60 annually.  Each year, volunteers shop and deliver more than 1,000 orders and buy more than $70,000 worth of groceries.  They also pick up and deliver laundry to and from a local laundromat.  Errands to the post office, dry cleaners, and other places can also be accommodated.

“The biggest benefit to the service is the personalized care we can provide.  We are flexible as to the brands and sizes of items that we pick up, we will accommodate dietary-specific needs, and we will use coupons if requested.  Additionally, we save caregivers effort so that they can spend quality time with their relatives and we look out for their loved one, often becoming a companion to them,” stated Marianne Kranz, Director of Volunteers and Support Services at SAGE.

If you are like Jean, or know of a friend, relative or neighbor who could use a helping hand with grocery shopping and errands, SAGE is available to help.  The program is open to individuals over 60 years of age, as well as disabled individuals, who live in parts of Essex, Morris, and Union Counties.  For more information on the service, or if you are interested in becoming a volunteer for SAGE Eldercare, please call 908.598.5514.

For the past 60 years, SAGE Eldercare has been helping make the communities they serve an amazing place to age.  The organization provides a wide array of information, support, and services designed to help people lead the most independent and active lives possible.  From helping with errands, to exercise classes, community programs, and home health care, SAGE’s expertise helps older adults remain in their own homes.  SAGE is committed to being the leading provider of programs and services to meet the changing needs of older adults, their families, and caregivers throughout Union, Essex, Morris, and Somerset Counties.  For more information, please call 908.273.5550 or visit www.sageeldercare.org.

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