PVE Grocery Service Delivers Food, Smiles
For some Paradise Valley Estates residents, the best part of the COVID-19 restrictions has been having others do the grocery shopping. That person — Home Care Coordinator Ronda Guffey and her assistant, Patty Penrose — filled more than 40 orders per day at Raley’s at the height of the quarantine and up to 14 orders per day more recently.
“In the beginning it took four team members and up to six hours a day of shopping and delivering. Now that Patty and I know the store, it takes the two of us only a few hours to complete,” said Ronda. “We shop according to address on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Raley’s has been awesome, and they often shut off their check-out lights when we arrive so that no one comes in behind us to get frustrated with the 45 minutes of wait time when each order is processed individually.”
The store is not allowed to set aside anything for anyone, so PVE’s shoppers are as happy as the rest of us when paper towels and toilet paper are back on the shelves, albeit on a first-come first-served basis.
Items most frequently requested by PVE residents include milk, eggs, butter and bacon, as well as Dave’s Killer Bread and oatmeal raisin cookies from the bakery section.
“Since we have gone through Easter and other holidays, we have delivered flowers — not quite essential food, but essential in receiving smiles and appreciation,” Ronda shared. “Residents have had milestone birthdays and, since family cannot come on campus, we have delivered balloons, flowers and cakes for them. What a special treat for us!”
Ronda credits Patty as her right hand. “We shop together; we deliver together. When we had the 40 orders per day, we needed more hands on deck, so the PVE@Home team, Kelly Bordeau from Wellness, and Maintenance and Transportation pitched in.”
“I have told one resident that his list feels like a quiz,” laughed Ronda. “Always one trick question and where do I find this item? Mostly, because I don’t eat it, I have no idea where to find it. Patty would direct me to the correct location.”
What PVE’s shoppers assumed would be a two-week job has turned into six months, so they are well known at the store.
“We have been offered jobs at Raley’s. We are often asked where items are even by the baggers. It has been fun to get to know residents through their grocery lists,” Ronda concluded.