With all of the precautions set in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some grocery stores in the Rainy River District are helping to alleviate some of the stresses of social distancing by offering delivery and curbside pick-up services.
In Fort Frances, Einar’s Foods currently offers both delivery and curbside pick-up services.
Delivery is available on just Tuesdays and Fridays.
Einar’s feels it is important to offer these services to the community because “there’s just a lot of people who can’t get out [to shop for groceries].”
“We’ve always kind of done deliveries for older people that can’t get out of the house or whatever because of their health. So. . .and curbside just makes sense with this virus thing going around.”
Meanwhile, M&M Food Market doesn’t currently offer delivery but has recently implemented a curbside pick-up service as another option for customers to shop.
“We recently got the equipment in to do a curbside pick-up,” the store said.
“So if you place an order, we can pack it here and then when you come you can just pull up to one of the parking spots in front of the store and phone us and we can bring out the payment terminal to you. You can pay and get your order and away you go.”
The store said making people more comfortable was its main objective of implementing the curbside pick-up service.
“If they are concerned about coming into the store and being around a large number of people, it just gives them another option to do something that makes them feel secure.”
Shoppers Drug Mart has always done deliveries here for medications but has now added groceries to that list.
The delivery service runs from 2-4 p.m. each day.
“We’ve always done deliveries if you have medication that you need delivered, usually with our elderly, and we can add groceries for a zero-dollar fee,” the store said.
“The delivery is $5 without a prescription. We have offered to shop for the people and then they can just come in and pay for it right away. We have a limit of 10-12 people at one time in the store.”
Safeway, The Place and Walmart in Fort Frances don’t currently offer either a delivery or curbside pick-up service.
In Emo, Cloverleaf Grocery doesn’t have a delivery service of its own but will put interested customers in contact with Ray Calder of Rainy River District COVIDelivery.
The Rainy River District COVIDelivery is a group on Facebook that’s aiming to help deliver essential groceries and supplies to people who are unable to go out themselves due to self-isolation, quarantine or high risk levels.
Those who are interested in that service can text Calder at 274-2652, email email@example.com or reach out to the group through Facebook.
“It begins with contacting us, they would send us a Facebook message, email or text and then we would be in contact with them as soon as we can,” Calder told the Times last month.
“The second step would be them sending their details. We need their address, name and phone number, and then a list of what they need. And then our third step is just to stay home and one of our many volunteer team members will purchase what they need.”
Those who are receiving groceries and supplies from the group are able to pay by cash or cheque, if necessary, but Calder noted that they would prefer payments made by e-transfer if possible.
“It’s contactless and you don’t even have to go out your door to do it,” he said.
In addition to getting some basic information from the individuals who are looking to receive deliveries, Calder also screens prospective volunteers in order to help limit the potential spread of any illness–including COVID-19.
“I ask them three questions,” Calder explained.
“Just general Public Health Canada questions, they’re pretty standard. The first question we asked was if they have any ongoing illnesses, including cold, fever, flu, anything that would either put them at risk, to ‘deliveries.’ We ask if they’ve travelled outside of Canada or to a major city or airport in the past 14 days, and if they’re in close contact with someone who meets those requirements.”
And in Rainy River, Beaver Mills Market has always offered a delivery service and continues to do deliveries amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ve always done deliveries. We have certain specifications for it, but we’ve always done them,” the store noted.