Sunday 5 July, 2020

St Lucian grocery delivery business helps the elderly amid COVID-19

Amid the partial shutdown and curfew imposed on St Lucia in an effort to control the island’s COVID-19 cases, a local company is providing options for home-delivered meals, groceries, and medications.

The service is a vital one, especially to the elderly and individuals unable to make a run to the supermarkets themselves.

“Basically anyone can send us their shopping list, we go out there, we do the shopping for them and we deliver to their doorsteps,” Alva Preville, founder of Island Grocery told Loop News.

Alva Preville, founder of Island Groceries

This, he says, is highly important, because the grocery stores have been crazy with consumers stockpiling, which has created a scary situation for senior citizens navigating that kind of environment.

Just recently, the National Council of and for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD) called for inclusivity for their members amid COVID-19 discussions.

According to NCPD president Merphilus James, the organization seemed to have been forgotten with no provisions having been made for the community.

“I looked at the situation and said to myself there must be people who can’t leave their homes, who are not able, the physically challenged, the elderly and the general public who are concerned about getting out there and taking buses, becoming more susceptible in contracting the virus,” said Preville.

Customers can send their grocery list via WhatsApp or to the company’s email address,

In terms of prescriptions, a letter of authorization will have to be given to Island Groceries for pick up.

A $20 fee is charged for the shopping services and delivery fees begin from $20.

“Deliveries may vary based on the location. Currently, we service from Cap Estate to Marigot Bay but we do intend to expand as time progresses,” Preville declared.

Since launching about a week ago, Preville says the response from customers has been resounding.

“I think it is an essential service to be honest because you pretty much allowing people to sit in the comfort of their own home and get their groceries delivered to them and not only that, we are also encouraging social distancing, we are encouraging people to stay home with the corona pandemic, as little people as we can get out there to mingle with each other, the better it is for society.”

In order to prevent further spread of COVID-19 while doing their deliveries, the company has adopted several precautions against the highly contagious respiratory illness, like wearing a facemask and gloves, and sanitizing their equipment in between deliveries.

Preville will be one of many entrepreneurs to be featured in the 'DEE is for Digital' masterclass this week. You can catch his interview streaming live on Digicel St Lucia's Facebook page at 1 pm on Thursday, April 2.

“To be honest I’ve watched what she’s been doing and it’s really important because it gives people a perspective of the current circumstances and how they can deal with certain situations and of course we fall right into that bracket to offer a really essential service and to explain to people how essential our service is and how they can take advantage on a daily basis,” Preville declared.

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