Each of us has probably known someone who started having difficulty running their own errands but still could take care of themselves in their own home. There are well-known services such as Meals on Wheels to help bring meals into their homes, but today’s organization is another option enhance the ability for aging adults to continue to live independently.
Store to Door is a nonprofit grocery and prescription shopping and delivery service for elderly adults in the Twin Cities, Minnesota seven-county metro area. The organization was founded in 1984 by Dr. David Berger and Judy Madaj. Dr. Berger had attempted to encourage other agencies to initiate a grocery delivery service for homebound adults who are able to live in their own home and prepare their own meals. When other organizations did not step up to provide this service, Dave and Judy started Store To Door by enrolling a group of clients. They did everything themselves – order taking, shopping, delivery, banking and administration. In that first year, Store To Door shopped for and delivered 1,600 orders. Since then they have grown and developed better processes. In 2010, they delivered over 17,000 orders to over 1,300 clients. In 2003, they started purchasing all your groceries at Cub Foods. They currently have daily shopping operations out of five metro area Cub Foods stores in St Anthony, Crystal, Bloomington, St Paul–Midway, and Maplewood. In 2013 they plan to make 20,000 deliveries to 1,700 clients as well as adding a Cub store in Chanhassen to serve Carver County and their first store outside of the Metro in Isanti County at the Cambridge Cub Store.
Store To Door serves the entire seven county metro area, acting as the eyes, ears, arms and legs of adults unable to get out and shop for their own groceries. On a regular schedule, volunteers phone clients for their grocery order and shop for them at Cub Foods. Staff members deliver the groceries and prescriptions in refrigerated vans. Their clients live on their own and pay for their groceries, using personal funds or Food Support benefits. They serve people of all incomes. A delivery contribution (determined by age, household size, and self-reported income) is requested of all clients. Customers can order any product that Cub Foods carries, including postage stamps, magazines, cleaning supplies, toiletries, prescriptions, greeting cards, etc. Store To Door services are tailored to meet the needs and expectations of our elderly clients. Orders are placed over the phone (no computer needed), customers can use coupons and food stamps when paying for groceries. Deliveries are made right into the client’s kitchen and when needed the staff member even helps the client unload and put away the groceries. Also, since they are talking to customers over the phone, and seeing them in-person during delivery, they are able to provide another social outlet for seniors who may otherwise be quite isolated.
How can you help?
- Make a donation online at their website or via your company’s United Way campaign. Monetary donations are used to maintain delivery vehicles, purchase gas, or help with other administrative expenses.
- Donate your whole, uncut, un-separated manufacturer’s grocery coupon booklets from the Sunday paper.
- Take a look at the volunteer program blog to learn more about opportunities.
- Volunteer with Store To Door in a variety of capacities, including roles as office assistants, volunteer order takers, coupon corps members, and volunteer grocery shoppers. One opportunity is a phone order taker. These volunteers develop an ongoing relationship with the elderly adults by calling them on a regular schedule to take their grocery order every other week. A second opportunity is to volunteer as a grocery shopper. Visit their website to find a full list of opportunities and to signup.
Learn more about Store To Door on their website, www.storetodoor.org. Store To Door was also recently featured in the “Non-Profits To Know” series presented by the Saint Paul Foundation and the Minneapolis Community Foundation – watch the video here. You can also follow them on Facebook or Twitter.