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North County nonprofit organization ups ability to serve elderly sheltered-in-place with emergency grocery deliveries


Last updated 4/25/2020 at 12:30am

Seniors get products from Foundation for Senior Care with no delivery charges

FALLBROOK – The Foundation for Senior Care, a nonprofit organization that helps seniors in the Fallbrook/Bonsall area, said they provides up to 40 deliveries per day to elderly residents requesting emergency grocery delivery assistance.

Keith Birkfeld, executive director of the Fallbrook-based organization, said the organization has made over 300 grocery deliveries to seniors unable or unwilling to leave their residences since the program started in late March. He said that the program has gained local traction during the COVID-19 crisis with a team of drivers making deliveries to area elderly throughout Fallbrook and Bonsall.

The majority of the deliveries are being done by the foundation’s Care Van drivers who had customarily been transporting seniors to medical appointments, the grocery store and the pharmacy. When the crisis began the Care Van program immediately transitioned into a grocery fulfilment service to meet the emergent need. A group of volunteer drivers and shoppers have been instrumental in filling any staffing gaps. Most recently, volunteers from the North Coast Church have taken part, supplementing the foundation’s services using their own vehicles.

In practice, most seniors either call the foundation’s offices at (760) 723-7570 or use email to place an order using a credit card. The foundation’s “Care Advocates” on South Mission Road verify the order and relay it to Major Market, and the person who makes the delivery picks up the packages. To date, the foundation has served more than 160 seniors in this part of North San Diego County.

“We fulfill orders within 48 hours. Orders that come in over the weekend are out on Monday to the recipients,” Birkfeld said, noting that a typical order consists of 20 different categories of products.

There is also a 20-item limit to each order to keep the process manageable.

Dr. Robert Pace, president of the Foundation for Senior Care, said the nonprofit organization works with Major Market because of that store’s ongoing efforts to serve seniors in the area; however, the foundation also supports the Fallbrook Food Pantry, assisting the other nonprofit organization with deliveries in the area. The senior delivery program is designed to assist seniors minimize public contact while getting them needed food and other supplies, Pace said.

“This all occurs without the senior having to pay a delivery charge,” he said.

Birkfeld said the foundation has received additional support from the Fallbrook Regional Health Care District, the Legacy Endowment and the Fallbrook Chamber of Commerce, all of whom endorse the effort.

Birkfeld said, “As the emergency grocery delivery service expands for those who have no family, friends or other options to obtain food and personal hygiene products, and as threats from the coronavirus persist, the foundation feels a duty to continue delivering much-needed items to area seniors. Community resources, in the form of financial support and individual volunteers, have always propelled our mission, and during this crisis they are critical.”

The foundation has received numerous personal donations from concerned citizens applauding the effort.

Pace said that each driver uses established safety measures during the delivery process such as changing gloves and wearing masks to further protect themselves and those receiving deliveries. Calls from the foundation’s Care Van team are made to seniors to alert them to the imminence of a delivery, and packages are left at the front door or other convenient spot for easy retrieval by the recipients.

The Foundation for Senior Care is a provider of multiple services for seniors and their families with headquarters at 135 S. Mission Road, in Fallbrook. The locally operated nonprofit organization has 15 board members, all of whom are prominent business and civic leaders in the Fallbrook and Bonsall area.

Submitted by Foundation for Senior Care.


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