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Going on a Scavenger Hunt . . . for Food

Grocery cart filled with items food for seniorsLast Friday was my first day as a volunteer shopper for Store to Door.  Yes, a volunteer shopper.  Does that sound like a dream gig for a “shop-a-holic”?

But shopping for Store to Door is not as frivolous or simple as it sounds.  Volunteer shoppers meet up at 6:00 a.m. at a local Cubs Food store and fill grocery orders for home-bound seniors who are unable to get out to the store and shop for food, medicine and other necessities.  (The orders are created by another group of volunteers who call the seniors every other week and enter each requested item into a nifty computer system.)

The orders are very detailed — brand, size, flavor, expiration date and much more.  Matching the items from the store shelves with what’s listed on the order sheet is challenging . . . like a scavenger hunt.

The need for this service is large and growing.  Minnesota Compass reports that 30 percent of seniors 65-plus in the Twin Cities have a disability.  And 10 percent of the 75-plus population lives in poverty.  Without Store to Door and other human services organizations, some of these seniors would face malnutrition, mounting health problems and consequences even worse.

I was impressed on Friday with the dedication and efficiency of the volunteers (some were 20-year veterans) and the professionalism of the Store to Door store coordinator and drivers who deliver the orders.  I look forward to going back again this week to shop for everything from soup to nuts — and whatever else these elders need to stay well-fed and healthy.

Do you know of a senior who is homebound or having difficulty walking through the grocery store or lifting heavy bags?  Do you have a couple hours a week to spare to become a volunteer order taker or shopper?  Check out the services and opportunities at Store to Door . . . it’s a vital service in our community.

photo cc Phil! Gold

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