As Californians began sheltering in place March 20, Ronda Guffey was already concerned about the order’s impact on Paradise Valley Estates residents. Along with the worrisome arrival of COVID-19, residents of the Life Plan Community, who were already at greater risk for contracting the virus, had a new unexpected problem to contend with — empty grocery shelves.
Ronda knew from her own shopping that fearful consumers were stockpiling home and pantry goods leaving little but depleted shelves in their wake. The good news? In her work with PVE@Home, which provides community residents with a helping hand around the house if needed, she already had a solution in place that could ease food scarcity issues without further endangering residents.
“We provide online shopping assistance to residents already, especially those who struggle with technology,” she explains. “When the lockdown took place, we noticed there was no way Raley’s was going to be able to keep up with the demand. At first, e-cart ordering was two weeks behind delivery.”
Ronda’s team swung into action right away. “Our first trip to the Raley’s on North Texas Street was a relatively calm eight orders, so we had the chance to get to know the store,” she says. “Now orders average about 20 or more per day, with the largest being 49 orders in one day.” Paradise Valley Estates residents can submit an order by phone Monday through Thursday and the PVE@Home team makes the trek to Raley’s on their behalf, delivering orders within 24 hours right to residents’ front porches.
The lone hiccup? “We realized on day one that ice cream was not a good item for delivery,” she laughs.
PVE’s shopping service gets an assist from Raley’s staff, who ensure the PVE@Home team has access to high-demand items and open a lane dedicated to fulfilling the group order. “The staff at Raley’s has been amazing and we could not have done this without them serving us with patience and kindness,” says Ronda.
For many residents, the emergency shopping service is welcome relief. The ongoing stress of out-of-supply necessities is one less worry in a chaotic time. Residents safely stay home and out of danger yet still have access to supplies when needed. While Ronda misses the face-to-face conversations that would often accompany such an exchange, she believes the grocery store trips have a greater value than restocking residents’ pantries.
Visit the Greater Good to learn how our Life Plan Community residents and team members are working hard to keep our community well and safe.