Moorestown residents shop for vulnerable neighbors so they don’t have to

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Trying to get day-to-day essential items is a battle in itself amid the coronavirus crisis, especially for older people or vulnerable populations.

So for stay-at-home moms Lauren Jones and Karen Reiner, they took it upon themselves to go shopping for their neighbors.

The Moorestown women heard about others in the Midwest coordinating “pods,” in which one household “adopts” the needs of about 10 other households on their block. They incorporated the idea into their New Jersey neighborhood.

“Response to this idea has been very positive, and we’ve already heard of a number of pods being formed throughout town. Our goal is to ultimately have a pod on every block,” said Reiner.

Moorestown resident Ann-Linn Glaser and her husband were in need of help, so they took advantage of the Moorestown Mutual Aid neighborhood plan, as it’s being called.

“Sometimes we're put in a position where we need to be comfortable in receiving help,” noted the 72-year-old. “They bought me perishable kinds of things, like blueberries, milk and bananas. It's been tremendously helpful for me.”

She said she left money under a rock at her house, and neighbors left her food at the door.

Besides grocery and other store items — which are reimbursed by the recipients — the group also organized a distanced meeting. Glaser cherished it.

“We had a visit outside where it was safe and we stayed about 8 feet apart, so I felt much less isolated,” she recalled. “It makes me feel very protected. There are people there to help when things get dark.”

“There are so many people that are isolated. There are so many people full of fear and don't know what to do to help themselves, to help others,” added Jones. “To be able to provide assistance, I just think it's a win-win.”