COVID-19 Response Service

PLEASE BE ADVISED, ABAAT is not accepting any new clients or helpers for this service at this time. The service will be ending with PHASE 4. Food resources can be found HERE. 

In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, A Block at a Time (ABAAT) is launching a COVID-19 Response action under ABAAT Helps. This service will work to help persons over 60 and at risk residents, in the Albany area, who are unable to go out to get essential items such as food, toiletries, medicine, and pet needs because of health risks connected to COVID-19.

Persons in Need of assistance: ABAAT is no longer accepting new requests for help. We will continue to assist the persons already receiving assistance. 

HELPERS – ABAAT is no longer accepting new helpers. Thank you for your willingness to help.

Program Guideline

Community members (Persons in Need) who are at increased health risk due to their age or underlying medical condition will be matched with a HELPER who can run errands to gather essential items. Persons in Need will be screened for risk of possible exposure to COVID-19 (questioner) and asked to adhere to program guidelines/purpose. In an attempt to prevent scams, Persons in Need will be given a PN ID Number so that they can verify a HELPER is from ABAAT. The Person in Need and their assigned HELPER will be given a matching PN ID for that days errands. ABAAT will change the code each time a Helper is assigned to a Person in Need.

Responsibilities of Person in Need:

  1. You will interact with HELPERS in a kind and courteous manner.
  2. Have a reasonable shopping list ready.
  3. Have a payment method for the purchase. Cards are preferred but cash will be accepted to ensure you get the needed items.
  4. Have reusable bags for HELPER.

HELPERS will also be screened for risk of exposure (questioner), asked to adhere to program guidelines/purpose and be provided with a unique HELPER ID Number (HIN) so that they can verify a caller is from ABAAT.

Responsibilities of HELPER:

  1. Pick up a shopping errand list from the person in need.
  2. Pick up and maintain control of any payment method provided by the person in need.
  3. Purchase as many items on the list as you are able to find.
  4. To return payment method/change, receipts and items to the person in need within a reasonable period of time on the same day, unless there is an emergency situation.
  5. Only use any payment method they provide to purchase the items they have requested.
  6. Treat the Person in Need in a kind and courteous manner.

ABAAT will take all the precautions that we can but we are just a small group of volunteers working to help our communities. We are not health professionals and cannot guarantee that a Person in Need or a HELPER are not ill. It is expected that anyone who cannot pass the set criteria will not participate in the service. Should an issue come to our attention, we will take immediate action. ABAAT will also work to ensure that all HELPERS and Persons in Need adhere to program guidelines/purpose and do so in a kind and courteous manner. A Block at a Time is a small community group working to become a not-for-profit organization. Our mission is to empower and support people to build stronger communities a block at a time. Over the last year we have worked to help address issues in our community including providing a safe space for the community to be heard following an incident of police misconduct and responding to the victims of a large fire within Albany. We cannot do this without help from others both as volunteers and with donations. Donations can be made online by visiting, by mail to: ABAAT, P.O. Box 384, Albany NY 12201, or CashApp $ABAAT.

Thank you for supporting our community group. | Twitter @ABlockataTime

Please be advised participation in this community service is voluntary. By participating in this service you release ABAAT and its volunteers from any liability.

Useful Links

United Way of the Greater Capital Region

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany

518 Mutual Aid

Capital District Mutual Aid

Capital District Mutual Aid is a grassroots effort started by a diverse group of Capital District residents. The project is governed by those directly participating in and coordinating its activities, and it has no formal relationship to any government agencies or established nonprofit organizations. Click here to learn more

Feed Albany

Feed Albany utilizes commercial kitchens, unemployed restaurant workers and volunteers to prepare, package and distribute food to at-risk and in-need individuals in Albany and surrounding areas, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 5:30pm to 6:30pm at DP, 25 Chapel Street in Albany

Schenectady shopping for seniors 518-621-3536

Times Union COVID-19 Map:

Useful tutorials on using Zoom as a conference platform

NY Connects

Albany County senior citizens should contact NY Connects at 518-447-7177 if they are in need of home-delivered meals, transportation, and medications.

Food Bank Locator

Click here to locate an agency near you.

The Food Pantries for the Capital District

A coalition of more than 60 food pantries in Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, and Schenectady Counties. Click here for more information and to view a map of pantries in your region or call their office Monday-Friday, 8:00am to 4:00pm at 518-458-1167.

Capital Roots

Capital Roots provides access to fresh fruits, vegetables and other food items via their Veggie Mobile and Mobile Markets. Click here for more information.

City School District of Albany “Grab and Go” Meals

The City School District of Albany is providing “grab and go” meals and home delivery meals to students. A lunch/student ID is required. For more information click here to visit their website.

Boys and Girls Club of the Capital Area

The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Capital Area are hosting free breakfast and lunch to all youth 18 years and younger daily between 11:30am and 12:30pm at the following Albany locations: Ezra Prentice – 625 South Pearl Street, Creighton Storey Homes – 158 3rd Avenue, Robert E. Whalen – 295 Colonie Street and North Albany Homes – 41 Jennings Drive.

The South End Children’s Café

The South End Children’s Cafe will be serving free take out dinners for children and their parents/guardians Monday through Friday from 5:00pm to 6:00pm. To reserve a meal and alert the South End Children’s Café of any food allergies, please contact Lily at 518-478-3369.