The town of Oakland has enlisted the help of a local grocery store to create a meal program to ensure elderly and homebound residents are being fed during the coronavirus pandemic.

Buddies Meats and Groceries in Oakland is participating in the effort to provide food to the town’s elderly and homebound residents. Morning Sentinel photo by Rich Abrahamson Buy this Photo

The Oakland Cares Program will allow residents to order groceries from Buddies Meats & Groceries, at 43 Main St. in Oakland, and have volunteers and town employees deliver it right to their homes.

Residents can call the town office from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday to place grocery orders that will be brought to Buddies, where workers will process the order the following day.

When the order is ready, Buddies will contact the person placing the order to get payment information, then volunteers or town employees will deliver the groceries.

Parks and Recreation Director Eric Seekins is heading up the program.

“Oakland is a cool little town and everyone helps each other out around here,” Seekins said. “And we’ve realized that a lot of people are going through a lot of things right now … we knew we needed to help because we’re all in this together.”

Seekins said the program is a collaborative effort between Buddies’ owner Steve Phair, residents and town employees.

A post made to the town’s Facebook page explained the program and reminded residents to keep a few things in mind.

“The focus of this service is for senior citizens who do not have the ability to leave the house and have no other options in getting groceries …” the post said. “We ask that you seek alternatives if available first.”

The post also asked for residents who plan to use the program to be as specific as possible with item requests and to follow proper sanitation methods per the CDC recommended guidelines to ensure the safety of the volunteers and employees making the deliveries.

The preferred method of payment for the program is debit or credit card which will be taken over the phone by employees at Buddies, but Seekins said they will make exceptions to ensure everyone in need can be fed.

We’re not going to let anyone go hungry,” Seekins said. “If they don’t have a credit card, we’ll work it out.” 

To place orders or volunteer for the program, call the Oakland town office at 465-7357.

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