GroceryHero offers free delivery for medical professionals amid pandemic

A new Toronto-based service called GroceryHero Canada has started up to match medical personnel with volunteers to provide grocery delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A new Toronto-based service called GroceryHero Canada has started up to help medical personnel during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. It's a free delivery service to aide frontline medical professionals acquire groceries so that they don't have to run the errand themselves, potentially causing further exposure of the coronavirus to the general public.

With so many medical personnel fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, the concern is that they may risk exposing the virus to the general public if they go shopping after their shift. GroceryHero Canada is hoping to assist them with their concerns by having volunteers match with each medical professional via their postal code.

Once they are put in touch with one another, GroceryHero Canada will arrange for the volunteer to pick up the medical professionals' groceries and deliver them to their door. Once delivered, the medical professional will reimburse the volunteer at just the cost of the goods only.

"It originated when a friend of ours, who is a doctor, was telling us about how hard it was for him and his hospital colleagues to get a grocery delivery scheduled. All the services are oversubscribed right now. He also didn't want to risk going into a store himself and possibly exposing himself to the public. So one of our co-founders (there are 5 of us) starting getting him his groceries. And we just thought surely there are others who'd happily volunteer to do the same." said Matthew Lombardi, one of GroceryHero Canada's co-founders.

"We messaged about it in our groupchat Thursday night. Spent a couple days figuring out how to make matches work—landed on using postal codes. By Sunday we had hacked up a tech back end, and launched. The response has been overwhelmingly positive. We've already had 700 signups at last count, and have matched over 60 frontline medical workers with a volunteer shopper," said Lombardi.

"We really want to encourage volunteers to sign up, so we can make sure every medical worker who needs delivery help gets matched with a shopping buddy, so please encourage readers to visit"

GroceryHero is currently only serving in the Toronto area although should interest in the service increase, the start-up says they have the resources to cover those who need it nationwide.