On June 4, the Town of Southampton ended the free All Seniors Assistance Program delivery service. It was initiated at the direction of Supervisor Jay Schneiderman to help keep seniors safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Beginning March 25, Southampton employees used town vehicles to make nearly 1500 deliveries of groceries, pharmacy items, and other essentials from more than 20 local businesses from Sag Harbor to Eastport to town seniors. The program, which over 400 seniors enrolled in by the end of March, was also assisted by several local elected officials and deputies from the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office.
“Thank you very much for this wonderful service,” said one participant in an email to the town. “I only used it once, but felt safer knowing it was available.”
ASAP ended because Southampton’s Town Hall offices reopened to the public on Monday, June 8, and town staffing levels were increased as the town offices began to reopen. Many of the participating businesses have also had to pivot, being able to provide the public with greater access to facilities, and some have expanded their services to accommodate customers.
“I want to thank the staff who helped organize and implement this program,” Schneiderman said. “Based on the responses we have received from the participants, the ASAP service filled a much-needed void during this COVID-19 crisis. I also want to thank all of the participating merchants for their assistance.”
Business owners and participants received notification of the program termination a week in advance. Since the program’s end, many who utilized the service have thanked the town for making the effort over the past 10 weeks.
“Thank you!” a Southampton senior said. “I am so proud of our town for offering this wonderful service — don’t know of any other place that did this.”