Groceries donated to caregivers


Courtesy of the Valley Caregiver Resource Center

More than 1,700 items were given out to Madera and Fresno Caregivers a week after the New Year holiday.

For many families in the Madera and Fresno area, the full-time caregiving responsibilities renders the most common tasks difficult, if not impossible, to accomplish.


Add in the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, simple errands like grocery shopping can be an obstacle.


However, with the help from the Valley Caregiver Resource Center and the Fresno Madera Area Agency on Aging, 60 caregivers and their families from the Madera and Fresno area were given over $200 in groceries.


“It warmed my heart watching the caregivers glance at their grocery bundle. Many caregivers stared in awe, questioning whether the whole bundle was truly for them,” Family Consultant Elizabeth Avila said. “It’s an amazing feeling being able to help such a wonderful community who does so much for their loved ones, especially when you hear, ‘You just made my day!’”


“When we were notified that we had the Cares funding, we tried to develop different methods of getting services to our caregivers and we knew that a lot of them needed food and groceries,” VCRC Executive Director Michelle DiBuduo said. “One of the ways was actually putting food into their homes, buying the groceries.”


Through the CARES Act, $12,000 worth of groceries were purchased for the month of January with another round in February on the horizon.


VCRC’s Family Consultants personally called their caregivers and offered this at no charge. From bread to canned foods, to snacks and many non-perishable goods, caregivers from both Fresno and Madera were able to take part in this time of giving.


One-by-one, between Jan. 6 and Jan. 8, over 50 caregivers drove to the VCRC office (5365 N. Fresno St.) located in Fresno. Groceries were also delivered to those unable to leave their homes due to their caregiving responsibilities.


And, for many, including Fresno County caregiver Robert Mills, exclaimed, “I’ve been working my whole life and nobody has done something like this for me.”


More than 1,700 items were packaged together and distributed to the clients of VCRC.


“I’m really happy that they are so appreciative of this,” DiBuduo said. “We provide a lot of services for our clients that include home modifications, but we’ve never been able to do anything of this magnitude.”


OASIS/PALS, which are adult-day programs at VCRC, will provide groceries to 40 families, as well. The generosity and care shown toward VCRC caregivers and families shows through every smile and thank you.


Including one Madera caregiver, who requested to remain anonymous, who thanked VCRC not only for the bountiful groceries for the parents she cares for, but also the support and resources available to her as a client.


“Having a parent who has developed dementia has been one of the most difficult situations that I have had to adjust to concerning my aging mother,” she said. “VCRC has provided invaluable resources to me to assist me in her care.


“Their services, such as subsidizing an additional caregiving aide and guiding me through that process, providing much needed caregiving resource information and making their grocery assistance program available, has made a tremendous difference in making my caring for my parents a lot easier.”

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