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Calgary Cares: Health-care students to help vulnerable Calgarians during COVID-19 and beyond

Calgary Cares: Health-care students deliver groceries for free
WATCH: Health-care students are volunteering their time with a service called Bag Half Full, which delivers groceries and prescriptions to vulnerable Calgarians for free.

Over 40 health-care students are volunteering their time to help get groceries and prescriptions into the hands of vulnerable and at-risk Calgarians.

“We are Bag Half Full¬†and we are a University of Alberta medical school initiative that provides free grocery shopping delivery and prescription pick-up services for community members in need,” volunteer organizer and U of A med student Chloe Lee said.

“So we’re completely free and volunteer run and so there is no payment that’s required except for your [grocery or prescription] bill,” added Lee.
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The service launched in Calgary last week but has been successfully running in Edmonton since April.

READ MORE: Calgary Cares: Helping seniors get the groceries they need during COVID-19 pandemic

“Our services are available to anyone in the community who needs the additional help,” Lee said.

“So this can range from those who are immunocompromised, those who are elderly, pregnant women, new parents – anyone who needs that additional hand, can give us a call and we’re more than willing to help.”

All volunteers have come from health-care-related programs at post secondary schools across the province.

“We’ve got students from SAIT in the primary care paramedics (program), we’ve got respiratory therapy, MRU nursing, midwifery, social work,” said Lee. “So we’ve really collaborated and formed an interdisciplinary team which is important not only in the sustainability of this initiative but also beyond when we work together as health-care professionals.”

READ MORE: Planes, salons and grocery stores: Companies that require face masks in Canada

The initiative started in response to the COVID-19 pandemic but Lee says the group plans to keep going even after the pandemic is over.

“We think that there is a great enough need to continue this beyond coronavirus, just because we are catering to populations that are not only self-isolating but just for anyone who does need that additional support and resource,” she said.

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More information on the program can be found at http://www.baghalffull.com/calgary