Michael Muscato, who plans to challenge Rep. Debbie Lesko for her District 8 seat, said he has created a task force to help seniors combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have a volunteer team that will go pick up groceries, deliver food boxes from the food bank and pick up prescriptions and deliver them to the homes of seniors throughout the district. We will do this as often as needed,” said Muscato.
District 8 includes parts of Avondale, Litchfield Park, Tolleson, Glendale and Peoria.
Seniors and those with histories of immune or respiratory issues are at high risk of death from COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and have been advised to stay home as much as possible and avoid crowds.
Moscato said seniors can call 623-850-3294 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to request pick up of paid-for items. They will be delivered free of charge, he said.
“From everything that we’re hearing, things as simple as going to a grocery store or going to pick up their medication are going to be very problematic,” Muscato said.
“And, my thought is that, regardless of my politics, everyone here is family to me. So, I want my team to give whatever help we can.”
The idea, Muscato said, came to him because his campaign all but stopped due to the virus. While unable to attend most events or knock on doors, the team of volunteers was mostly making phone calls and advocating for him through social media.
He said he simply started calling potential voters, asked them if they were doing well and offered his time and personal support.
“Based on their response, it was obvious to me that there are a lot of elderly people out here that are away from their families and don’t have anybody to help them, which is very scary,” Muscato said.
The volunteers already doing other duties for him were transitioned into a new role.
“We have a volunteer base with a lot of young, healthy people that are practicing social distancing and doing all the smart things we’re being told to do. And these volunteers want to make a difference for the community and are willing to do what it takes.”
And, while the volunteering of time and services with the task force might look good for a political campaign, Muscato said there are more important issues to be considering.
“I don’t care if I win or lose this at this point. The election is the last thing in my mind. This is literally about potentially, and I hope it doesn’t get to this point, but this is about protecting and saving as many people as we possibly can,” he said.
Muscato is looking for more volunteers for the task force, as well. To sign up visit muscato4congress.com/cd8-task-force or call 623-850-3294.