MORRIS COUNTY, NJ – Morris County issued 426 emergency kits, each containing four shelf-stable meals and a first aid kit, to seniors and adults with disabilities in a two-week outreach effort.
The effort began on Nov. 23, when 305 emergency preparedness starter kits were handed out during a special event at the Morris County Library targeting people with disabilities and seniors age 60 and older. An additional 121 kits were subsequently delivered over the past two weeks to homebound residents in partnership with the MAPS paratransit system, Norwescap, and the non-profit POWER (People Organized Working Evolving Reaching).
The campaign was sponsored by Morris County’s Office on Aging, Disabilities, & Community Programming.
“This distribution of shelf-stable meals and first-aid kits helped more than 400 of our more vulnerable residents prepare for winter emergencies. We are grateful for the courage it took them to step out and ask for our help, not only in terms of meals, but also to our Navigating Hope team which was standing by with referrals to social services programs. Reaching out is an act of strength, and we’re here to help, especially in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said Morris County Freeholder Kathryn DeFillippo, the board liaison to Human Services agencies.
Navigating Hope, Morris County’s mobile social services vehicle, was on site at the initial distribution of the kits last month. Social workers provided many of the people with access to the Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled Program or PAAD, as well as Medicaid applications. They also referred individuals to other programs, such as food pantries, senior housing, home-delivered meals and Assurance Wireless, which is a federal lifeline assistance program providing eligible low-income individuals free phones, monthly phone data, unlimited texting and free monthly minutes.