PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — When the pandemic hit, Neel Jain started helping his grandmother get groceries. As he wandered the aisles getting grandma’s groceries he saw others like her — vulnerable populations of older people he thought were needlessly exposing themselves to the coronavirus.
Before he knew it, the Westview High School sophomore was going to the store and picking up and delivering groceries for a broadening circle of people beyond his grandmother.
Yes, he had some idle time but he also wanted to do something to stop elderly people from needlessly endangering their health just to get groceries.
“So I just wanted to help out some of the elderly people in my community because these were the people that were most at risk of getting COVID-19,” Jain told KOIN 6 News. “I’ve been delivering groceries to them as well as some of my friends.”
Its a community service project, free to people who really need the help in Portland, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Lake Oswego and Clackamas so far. But there are aspirations to expand the footprint of their delivery service.
People go to PDXDeliver.com and send a grocery list. He and his help circle get the groceries, leave them at people’s doorstep and pick up a payment.
It’s a contactless delivery, great for people who don’t want exposure to the virus But Jain said it’s giving him a bigger sense of purpose, as well.
“The response has been really amazing, like people give us thank you cards and they have definitely, like, sometimes they open the door when we’re driving right out and and it’s cool to see, like, the smile on their faces,” he said. “They’re definitely giving us a lot of nice compliments.”
There are no delivery fees. Their website says they are just glad to help some of the most vulnerable people in our community not expose themselves to risk simply by shopping for groceries.