RANCHO MIRAGE — For the past two years, Bobbie Dobbins has relied on Instacart, a same-day grocery delivery and pick-up service in the U.S. and Canada, to bring to her door grocery order from Albertsons at Country Club and Monterey.

Dobbins, 80, who has no car, was satisfied with the delivery service that operated like clockwork.

Then, the coronavirus pandemic hit the Coachella Valley and the nation. Residents were ordered to stay home, which prompted many to turn to grocery-delivery services. Demand surged overwhelming the grocery-delivery services.

The on-demand grocery startup said Monday that it seeks t0 “hire 300,000 full-service shoppers,” who are treated as independent contractors, in North America over the next three months due to increased demand spurred by the coronavirus pandemic, according to CNN. That would more than double its current workforce of full-service shoppers.

But what do those who need groceries do until then?

Dobbins she could not get an order filled. Her daughter lives 90 miles away.

“If you have no car, you’re really in a stuck place,” Dobbins said. “I’m not the only one, I’m sure. There’s got to be a solution. There must be someone who delivers. It’s a predicament.”

Turns out there is a new volunteer group in the Coachella Valley called Coachella Valley Neighbors Helping Neighbors!

It is a volunteer run organization that provides free grocery delivery service to those in the higher risk groups for COVID-19, who are unable to leave their home or otherwise secure supplies. This includes:

  • Food, water, basic groceries
  • Prescriptions and medical supplies
  • Hygiene supplies
  • Cleaning supplies

Check out the group’s Facebook page by clicking here.

The group will make one delivery from one store per week, Abbey Newell, a community organizer, who is working with the group, said. Deliveries are free, she said.

“It’s been remarkable to see so many people coming together,” Newell said. “This is a time when we all need to lean on each other. That’s how we will get through this.”

If you or someone you know needs food or medicine and can’t get out, call Coachella Valley Neighbors Helping Neighbors! at (760) 205-9819.

The group is seeking volunteers. Check out its Facebook page to sign up.

The group is currently raising money to establish an emergency fund for those who cannot afford even basic necessities. As of Friday morning, the group had raised more than $2,000.


Image Sources

  • Instacart: Shutterstock