**Please note operating adjustments were made to this program due to COVID-19 and variants. Below details the Pantry Fillers Program under normal working conditions.**
Pantry Fillers is a grocery shopping assistance program designed to assist senior adults who are low-income eligible.
No client will be denied grocery shopping assistance based on income. Clients above the low-income level can be provided with grocery shopping assistance through our Senior Rides program.
What We Provide:
Through a contract with Montgomery County HHS-Aging and Disability, we currently have two options for this program for eligible clients.
OPTION 1: A volunteer will escort the client to a single grocery store within reasonable distance to the client’s residence and assist the client in shopping. When the trip is complete, the volunteer will escort the client back to their residence, assist with getting the groceries inside the residence and assist with putting the groceries away. The client is responsible for paying for all groceries at the time of service.
OPTION 2: A staff member or volunteer will meet with the client at their residence and, using a payment method and grocery list prepared by the client, shop for groceries on behalf of the client. The volunteer will return to the client’s residence and put the groceries away. The shopping is limited to one grocery store location within reasonable distance to the client’s residence. The client is responsible for paying for all groceries at the time of service.
What We Cannot Provide:
- Trips to multiple grocery stores or other appointments.
- Trips outside of Montgomery County unless pre-approved by the Senior Connection.
- Transportation to anyone who does not meet the program eligibility requirements.
- Assistance with meals or meal preparation, eating, administering medications, bathing, toileting, dressing, grooming, laundry, cleaning or other services which do not fall within the program guidelines.
- Payment for anything purchased (groceries, prescriptions, parking, tolls, etc.). These are the client’s responsibility.
How It Works:
The client will apply for services and be contacted for a phone interview by the staff of the Senior Connection. The client will select which option (1 or 2 above) they are applying for.
If Option 1, the staff of the Senior Connection will place a regularly scheduled service request (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly) for the client to be escorted to a single grocery store. The volunteer will escort the client to a single grocery store within reasonable distance to the client’s residence and assist the client in shopping. The volunteer will then return to the client’s residence and assist in transferring groceries and putting the groceries away. Service may be scheduled weekly, twice a month or monthly on the same day.
If Option 2, the staff of the Senior Connection will place a regularly scheduled service request (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly) for the client to be visited at their residence by staff or a volunteer. The client will select items for a shopping list and provide a valid method of payment to the staff/volunteer. The staff/volunteer will then shop on behalf of the client using a pre-prepared grocery list. The staff/volunteer will return to the client’s residence to deliver and put the grocery items away. Service may be scheduled weekly, twice a month or monthly on the same day for each.
We make every effort to accommodate the needs of all clients. We ask that all clients abide by the following set of responsibilities so we can serve everyone.
- Take advantage of a volunteer’s assistance on a consistent basis, to the best of your ability. Sporadic use of the volunteer’s assistance may result in dismissal from the program.
- Be prepared with a specific grocery shopping list, either to take with you to the grocery or to share with your volunteer. Include item size, brands and preferred costs, and let the volunteer know when it’s okay to substitute.
- Offer full payment for the purchase of groceries, either to the store or to the volunteer to give to the store. Request a receipt from the volunteer if the volunteer shops for you.
- Clearly instruct the volunteer which items may be purchased using an EBT card if needed.
- Avoid making the volunteer lift large or heavy containers or extremely large orders.
- Parking fees and tolls are your responsibility.
- If you need to cancel a shopping trip, please contact the office immediately. Excessive cancellations may result in dismissal from the program.