Rotary Club of President Brian Nash stands at the back of his vehicle with a delivery of groceries ready to go illustrating what he and a group of Rotarians are doing to help seniors and those at risk to contracting the coronavirus. /DARREN LUM Staff

Helping seniors with access to groceries

By Darren Lum

When you need to shop for groceries and you’re a senior or among those more vulnerable to the coronavirus it’s important to remember there are options in the community.

At the Haliburton Foodland they have been packing orders for pick-up and are working with the Rotary Club of Haliburton to get orders to people’s homes.

Rotary president Brian Nash said he thought of the volunteer delivery idea from reading a social media post by Foodland’s owner Brad Park who said he hired extra staff to pack orders for phone pick ups.

“When I read that I called Brad and I said ‘Hey Brad. I would be happy to come out and make some deliveries if you have some folks who are elderly or incapacitated or don’t have anybody to pick up their food’” he said.

Park was grateful and welcomed the help in reaching his customers.

“We’re extremely grateful for them to do this. More volunteers every day are stepping up to help out. Without this we couldn’t cover the area we are covering” he said.

Nash then asked Rotarians to join him in his efforts with the delivery.

Foodland and the Rotary Club of Haliburton have regularly partnered before on the Good Food Box a program that provides residents the opportunity to purchase affordable fresh food.

This week three more drivers have joined the volunteer driving group that includes Roger Trull David Ogilvie Kevin DesRoches Don Popple Heather Philips Adele Barry and Georgina Boyle. The volunteers are available to deliver from Monday to Friday at 4 p.m. This schedule could change depending on need Nash adds.

Nash moved to the Highlands in 2008 and has always supported food security for people.

“I’ve always been a big advocate for food security and one of the first associations I joined was back in those days called the Harvest Haliburton which was run by the health unit” he said.

As of March 17 Todd’s Independent Grocer is offering seniors and those who feel at risk an opportunity to have the store to themselves for the first hour of operation.

“We are trying to provide a safe shopping environment for every customer. As you are aware seniors are at higher risk. Starting [March 17] at 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. we suggest that seniors over the age of 65 or anyone that feels they are at higher risk choose this time to shop when it’s the least [busy]. Every little bit helps to keep this great community safe” the store posted on its Facebook page on March 16.

In the first few days there weren’t any lineups he said.

The store also offers online ordering and pick-up through its PC express service.

The situation remains fluid so Todd suggests people remain up to date with the store through @ToddsYIG on Facebook.