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.
The eligibility of volunteer shopper programs is determined by the sponsoring organization. Such criterion may include residency, age or disease and disability.
Services and Fees
There is usually no fee for this type of program. The individual is responsible for paying for their own groceries.
Financial Options for Friendly Shoppers
Private Pay: Private pay refers to using personal funds to cover all or a portion of an expense. There are different ways to acquire private pay resources.