Non-profit expands to help more seniors with grocery deliveries during pandemic

LOS ANGELES -- A non-profit has expanded to help more seniors stay home during the COVID-19 pandemic by delivering free groceries and prescriptions directly to them.

AllTogether LA, formerly known as Santa Monica Community Helpers, has merged with other volunteer groups to help reach more seniors not only across Santa Monica, Venice, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Brentwood, and Culver City but all of Los Angeles County, CA.

"I was overwhelmed with calls from Santa Monica Helpers. You know, I was really only on for a week and then this huge community building effort happened." said Lorena Camarena, founder of AllTogether LA.

"We have the infrastructure to take on as many volunteers as we need. We have the infrastructure to adapt every city, every town, every neighborhood in Los Angeles," said Mitch Olivieri, Director of Community Health and Volunteering with AllTogether LA.

Camarena first got the idea of delivering household goods to senior communities when her 83-year-old neighbor shared her difficult experience buying food at the store.

"Some of them had been exposing themselves or feeling like they needed to choose between staying safe at home and their health. And so, we sort of removed that choice for them," said Camarena.

Camarena says their senior and volunteer connections are more than just grocery store errands and describes them as long-lasting relationships that go beyond the crisis.

"It really restores our faith in humanity that there are people out there volunteering and helping people of my age and it is, just been, seriously the expression - a Godsend," said Santa Monica resident, Richard Friedman.

"I've gotten to know what bread he (Richard) likes, and you know, what type of butter he buys. And also, I've gotten to know his wonderful stories of his past and his works that he does," said Elizabeth Sinha, volunteer with AllTogether LA.

To learn more visit www.alltogether.la or call (323) 310-0411.