The Human Needs Food Pantry is located at 9 Label Street, Montclair. But many who are homebound can’t there. PHOTO BY ADAM ANIK

Two local nonprofits have banded together to enhance their services and further help the homebound and socially-isolated older adult population in the area. Connections at Home New Jersey (CAH) and the Montclair-based Human Needs Food Pantry have partnered to offer seniors and the homebound a social worker via video chat.

The Verona-based Connections at Home New Jersey (CAH) provides local seniors with a free, easy to use computer or tablet, and pairs them with a social worker who is in contact with them via video chat on a regular basis. This gives them a friendly person to chat with, who can also help them with their social service needs such as housing, transportation and access to medical care. The Montclair-based Human Needs Food Pantry serves 1,200 households, including 230 homebound seniors who rely on volunteers who deliver bags of groceries to them on a weekly basis. Often these volunteers are the only people they will interact with all week. 

A newly garnered grant will allow CAH to offer their services to Montclair’s Human Needs Food Pantry clients. 

“We are thrilled with this new partnership that will allow us to reach more lonely older adults and connect them, through the use of technology and social services, to their loved ones,” said Connections at Home Executive Director, Alex Kent.

The National Institute of Aging reports that social isolation and loneliness has been linked to higher risks of a variety of physical and mental conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, depression and more. It is a greater health risk than smoking half a pack of cigarettes a day or being obese or sedentary. This partnership is made possible through a grant from The Grotta Fund to CAH.

If you or a loved one are a socially isolated senior contact Alex Kent at or call 973.239.2600, ext. 2600 or visit our website at

About Connections at Home and Human Needs Food Pantry

Founded in 2014, the mission of CAH is to use technology to decrease social isolation among older adults while helping them and their families strengthen ties and stay connected. Serving older adults in the surrounding neighborhoods of Verona, Montclair and Cedar Grove, CAH provides technology and social work services to connect older adults who are home-bound and in need of assistance to their loved ones and necessary medical and social services.

Since 1982, the Human Needs Food Pantry has provided food, clothing, and other services to people in need who live in Montclair and neighboring communities in Essex County.

Jaimie is an award-winning journalist and editor.