Coronavirus: Free grocery delivery service for frontline medical workers launched in Toronto

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus outbreak: Ontario official says many measures in grocery stores to keep people healthy' Coronavirus outbreak: Ontario official says many measures in grocery stores to keep people healthy
WATCH ABOVE: Ontario associate chief medical officer of health Dr. Barbara Yaffe said on Friday that there were a lot of measures in grocery stores, such as protective shields, signage, cleaning and hours for seniors, to keep people healthy – Mar 27, 2020

A Toronto man has set up a free grocery delivery service for frontline medical staff amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Matthew Lombardi said he and four others came up with the idea a few weeks ago when talking to a friend who is an emergency room doctor.

“[He] was telling me that he was having a lot of trouble getting a grocery delivery scheduled,” Lombardi said.

READ MORE: Ontario reports 351 new coronavirus cases, 10 deaths as total cases top 1,700

“Obviously a lot of these services are tremendously oversubscribed right now. That doesn’t really work for schedules of frontline workers, and also frontline workers don’t want to risk going inside grocery stores right now for fear of exposing the public.”

Lombardi has since launched GroceryHero, which matches frontline medical staff with volunteers who are willing to pick up groceries.

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The medical workers pay for the cost of the groceries, but not the delivery.

According to the GroceryHero Facebook page, as of Sunday night, they had over 500 people sign up, including both medical staff and volunteers. Over three dozen shopping arrangements had been made.

“We can definitely keep up with demand. We’re now hearing from other parts of the country that would like us to launch there, too, and we’re considering doing that as well,” Lombardi said.

“It’s just going to be a matter of is there enough demand. We know for sure there is in Toronto among doctors and nurses. We think that there is across the country and so if we start getting sign-ups across the country, we will absolutely be able to service that if we can then promote to volunteers across the country.”


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