In some areas of the state, volunteer-based programs have been established in senior centers, social service offices or community-based organizations to help older adults with grocery shopping and basic errands. Sometimes called “friendly shoppers,” volunteers are screened and trained and use their own car to take individuals to stores, banks, barbers or hair salons.
Beyond transportation, the volunteer will accompany the individual into the store and help with the shopping. They will also help bring the groceries into the home and put them away. They might also do the shopping for individuals who are unable to travel to the store.
The availability of friendly shoppers may vary by area of the state and organization. Some assistants are available weekly, bi-weekly, or periodically.
A secondary benefit to this program is the opportunity for older adults and individuals with disabilities to socialize with the volunteer shopper.