A Portland teen who started a free grocery delivery service during the COVID-19 pandemic recently expanded the service into Clark County.
PDX Concierge launched in mid-April after Neel Jain went grocery shopping for his grandmother, whose age and asthma make her vulnerable to the novel coronavirus.
“I just realized there are a lot of other people who may not have family and need help,” said Jain, a junior at Westview High School.
So far, his team of volunteers has made about 150 deliveries in the metro area. After Portland media outlets reported on PDX Concierge, Jain received a few calls from people north of the Columbia River. The service is targeted at those who are elderly, disabled, immunocompromised or first responders.
Prospective clients fill out a form online with their grocery list and volunteers will go buy the groceries and deliver them within a few days. They may call clients with questions or substitutions. Volunteers maintain social distancing guidelines and wear gloves and face masks while they shop. Clients then reimburse volunteers for the cost of the groceries, which are dropped off in front of their homes.
It’s a free service, so tips or donations are used for gas money, maintaining the website and helping pay for groceries for clients who need extra financial assistance. Jain asks that clients be a “reasonable distance” from Portland.
The 16-year-old is looking for volunteers to help pick up and deliver groceries around Clark County — a way to earn service hours when many traditional volunteer projects are canceled due to COVID-19 precautions.
“It’s a great feeling to help out in this hard time,” Jain said. “Kids have a lot of time on their hands with schools being closed. It’s good to be able to put that to use.”
To learn more about the service, visit pdxdeliver.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 971-347-7778.
PDX Concierge adds to a growing cadre of local grocery delivery services and renewed focus on access to food during the pandemic:
• The Human Services Council can pick up food and other necessities for locals who lack transportation. The organization can pick up online orders, get food boxes from pantries or take people to grocery stores. Call 360-735-5733 for more information and to schedule transportation.
• Clark County Food Bank is hosting drive-thru emergency food distributions from its warehouse and other sites around the county. For those who cannot leave their house or don’t have someone who can get food for them, email email@example.com to arrange a delivery.