Service delivers groceries to seniorsPat Bialucha gets around with a walker, and is still able to live independently in her Norris Square apartment, but grocery shopping was a chore.
By: Judy Spooner, South Washington County Bulletin
Pat Bialucha gets around with a walker, and is still able to live independently in her Norris Square apartment, but grocery shopping was a chore.
Without her walker, she would manage to walk from the Norris Square bus to lean on a grocery cart at Cub Foods in Cottage Grove.
Back at the apartment complex, she’d put two plastic bags on each handle of her walker and one bag in the walker’s basket, and make her way to her fourth-floor apartment where she’s lived for more than a year.
“I stopped buying things that were heavy,” she said.
She tried an online shopping service that only delivered groceries to the main entrance and left them on the floor. Even though she convinced the company to deliver to individual apartments, she found they didn’t have some items she wanted and thought she was paying too much.
Bialucha wanted her groceries to come from Cub Foods.
Through Store to Door, a nonprofit organization offering grocery shopping for those who can’t shop for themselves, she got her wish.
Dan Hoff, Cottage Grove, a Store to Door volunteer, brought more than $100 worth of groceries to her apartment, unloaded them, and helped her put some of the items away that need to be refrigerated.
Bialucha, who was charged a fee of $15, wrote a check for her groceries that will be remitted back to the Cub store, which is exclusively affiliated with Store to Door.
She was also able to use the coupons she cut from a Sunday newspaper.
Hoff wears a shirt that has “Store to Door” on the pocket. He’s been a volunteer for four years and works four days a week.
“Most of the people who get the service are really grateful,” he said.
Bialucha was instrumental in getting the Store to Door program, which has been in business for 25 years, at Norris Square and got three of her neighbors to order.
After her first visit, she’s convinced more residents will sign up.
People can sign up for the program at storetodoor.org where there is a seven-minute video telling them how to qualify and order.
Those who receive the service, which can include people receiving food stamps, are charged a fee from $3 to $15 based on their ability to pay. Some people pay nothing, according to Ginger Sisco, who handles Store to Door press relations.
Many of the people who deliver groceries are retired and get background checks by the organization, which serves about 1,300 clients.
“In many cases, it’s a life line for those who no longer drive a car, and those who use a walker or wheelchair or are on oxygen,” Sisco said.
The service is run through grants, donations and fees to cover the work of seven full-time people. Order-takers, personal shoppers who call clients for grocery lists, and delivery people are volunteers.
Sisco will no longer be handling press relations for the service. Store to Door, due to state budget cutting, had to cut $100,000 from its budget.
Bialucha is happy with the service and cherished the fact that she was able to get Popsicles, one of her favorites, without having to worry about them melting before she got home.
For more information, call Store to Door at (651) 642-1892.