State Hosting Virtual Town Halls on Unemployment Assistance

The Mass. Department of Unemployment Assistance will host a series of town hall meetings which people can join by phone or online. The sessions will help people file unemployment claims and get other questions answered. Those joining by computer can do so that day, but people joining by phone need to register by 5:30 p.m. the day before. The Mass.

$1 Million Available for Programs Helping Older Residents Affected by Coronavirus

The following information was provided by the Tufts Health Plan Foundation:

Tufts Health Plan Foundation announced today it is making an additional $1 million available to efforts driven by community and to nonprofit organizations supporting older people affected by the coronavirus outbreak in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Connecticut. Tufts Health Plan Foundation will continue to support healthy aging by funding organizations assisting with access to food, at-home support, housing, transportation, medical supplies and other services, especially for older people and those most vulnerable.  Those with underlying health conditions and people over 60 have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. It is especially important to ensure resources are available to provide these supports and services. “We are grateful to the local, state and federal public health agencies, first responders, and the many community organizations who are stepping up to respond to this challenge,” said Tom Croswell, president and CEO of Tufts Health Plan.

Watertown Food Pantry Changing Hours, Opening One Day a Week

Items collected for the Watertown Community Foundation’s food drive in January. The Foundation is organizing another one in the month of October. Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 (the Coronavirus) the Watertown Food Pantry will be consolidating hours and will be open one day a week. Beginning March 24, the Watertown Food Pantry will be open for extended hours on Tuesdays, but will not be open on Thursdays. The Pantry, located at the rear of the Belmont-Watertown United Methodist Church at 80 Mt.

More Supermarkets in & Around Watertown Offering Hours for Seniors, 1 Market Offering Delivery

Stop & Shop is not the only supermarket in the area offering special shopping hours for seniors in an effort to provide extra social distancing for those who could be more at risk if they got the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Some of Watertown’s local markets have added time for seniors to shop, or other ways for residents to access food and produce. Russo’s Market, 560 Pleasant St., has special hours for seniors from 6 a.m. to 7:30 a.m.

Arax Market announced on its Facebook page: We are offering delivery for Watertown residents ONLY ($25 minimum). We will also do your shopping for you and you can come and pick it up. You can call (617-924-3399) or message us on Facebook or Instagram.We have been working round the clock to ensure all of our customers have fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, bread, dairy, and homemade prepared meals. Massis Bakery said on its Facebook page that its shelves are stocked, and it is open Monday through Saturday.

Watertown Has a Third Positive Test for Coronavirus

Watertown has a third positive test for Coronavirus, the Watertown Health Department announced Thursday, with the second case coming over the weekend. The Health Department said it cannot release information about the people who tested positive for COVID-19, including where they live and work. They said they are trying to track any people they may have been in contact with. In the statement about the second Watertown case, the Health Department indicated that the person had no link to the Watertown Public Schools. The announcement about the third case did not have that information (See the announcement farther below).

Volunteers Needed to Deliver Meals to Seniors

Springwell seeks to continue to provide services to older residents during the Coronavirus outbreak, and they are looking for volunteers to deliver meals to seniors. Springwell sent out the following information:

Due to the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Springwell is working diligently to continue to provide services to our senior community.  At this time, Springwell is seeking volunteers who are willing to provide home delivery of meals.* 

Springwell is an essential part of the social safety net for thousands of older adults each year, and we are continuing to provide the services that are helping them stay safe and in their homes during this challenging time. We especially need volunteers who can work in the towns of Belmont, Watertown, and Waltham. If you are:

interested in receiving training and support to help us reach vulnerable seniors with critical in-home meals;have a reliable car, a current driver’s license, and a clean driving record;are available between 10 am – 1 pm;are able to provide these services, consistent with guidance we receive from the CDC, WHO and other governmental agencies, recognizing you may come into contact with high-risk members of our community and others; andand are successfully able to meet the regulatory pre-requisites for the position. 

 Please contact us! Email volunteer@springwell.com to start the process; or go online and apply to volunteer at www.springwell.com/volunteer Thank you

Grocery Store Chain Opening Early to Allow Older Customers to Shop

Supermarket chain Stop & Shop announced that it will soon start opening early to allow shoppers 60 and older to get their groceries as part of their efforts for social distancing due to the Coronavirus. Stop & Shop said it would open early to allow give older people to shop before the broader public can start shopping. “To support this group, beginning Thursday, March 19th, all Stop & Shop stores will open earlier in order to service only customers who are age 60 and over from 6:00a.m.-7:30a.m. daily.” “We’re making the decision to offer this every day of the week to allow for community members in this age category to shop in a less crowded environment, which better enables social distancing. They’ll also be shopping prior to any other customers entering.”

Watertown Library Increasing Numbers of Titles Available Online, Find Out How to Access Them

Watertown Free Public Library

The Watertown Free Public Library may have closed during the Coronavirus outbreak, but that does not mean people can’t access books, videos and music. The Library has a number of ways to access ebooks, audiobooks, videos and more, and the staff has added more copies of popular titles. There is also content for kids, access to newspapers and magazines and information to medical information. The following announcement came from the Watertown Library:

Here’s what we’re doing at the Watertown Free Public Library to keep you digitally connected to books and media while we’re closed. We’ve increased our digital collections.