Piattran bus

A major role of Piatt County Public Transportation (Piattran) has historically been to transport seniors to important appointments, including doctor's offices and grocery stores.

But the coronavirus has them shifting gears, and now Pattran will use its buses to deliver groceries and pharmaceuticals in an effort to keep the elderly at home and out of harms way.

Starting March 23, Piattran, Piatt County Services for Seniors and Faith in Action will combine forces to deliver groceries from Monticello's County Market on Mondays and Fridays, items from Monticello pharmacies (Walgreens, Lynn's Family Pharmacy and Kirby Rx) on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and groceries from JTA Groceries in Bement on Wednesdays.

“What we're going to do is people can call in, especially our seniors,” said Faith In Action Director Leanne Griffin. “If they call by 11 a.m. we can get their order ready, pick up the food, or prescriptions, and deliver them to their homes.”

Those wanting to use the delivery service need to call Faith in Action at 217-762-7575, ext. 2; of Services for Seniors at 217-762-7575, ext. 1 to place those orders. Volunteers will do the shopping and Piattran drivers will make the deliveries. The service is available to those 65 years of age and older.

“They need to filter the phone calls through us,” added Griffin.

Piattran Director Jamie Trybom said it's a good cause that will keep drivers busy, noting that ridership has dropped from a typical 275 each day to just 21 on Tuesday.

“We've seen a large decrease in our ridership, and we just want to do what we can for our community to keep our seniors safe,” said Trybom. “We're just trying to do our part.”