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All the Essentials Without Leaving Home: Pop-Up Groceries at Westminster Communities Provide Staples Amid Uncertainty
March 30, 2020
For older adults throughout the country, as we watch the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), a simple trip to the grocery store can induce anxiety. But at Westminster Communities of Florida, residents have lots of ways to make sure they get nutritious food and basic staples.
One way is our new dining delivery program, providing refrigerated, reheatable, nutritious and tasty meals delivered to residents’ doorstep. But sometimes, a person needs a loaf of bread, a gallon of milk or a roll of toilet paper — the most basic grocery needs. For those essential items, we’re opening up new “pop-up” grocery stores for residents to shop.
These pop-up groceries are conveniently located in the community and limited to one resident at a time for safety. Groceries can be paid for using either credit card or charged to their monthly bill via key fob.
We’re offering a selection of certain basic goods in these stores: Bread, milk, eggs, cereal, coffee — and perhaps most importantly, toilet paper. All the items are from a standard basket of items that we know can be kept in stock, at a time when grocery stores are struggling with inventory.
“With a pop-up grocery in their community, residents can continue practicing social isolation and shop safely,” said Mario DeLuca, Director of Resident Experience for Westminster Communities of Florida. “We just opened the first stores on Thursday and Friday, and we’re already seeing a fantastic response from the residents.”
Candy Porter, a resident at Westminster Suncoast, said that the pop-up stores are providing residents like her with more security. “Last week, as I left at 7 a.m. to grocery shop, I felt like I was making a special ops foray into enemy territory,” she said. “But the pop-up grocery stores at each community, offer staples for purchase at more than reasonable prices. The efforts Westminster has made to keep its residents safe, secure, and well-stocked go wildly beyond our expectations.”
These pop-up stores are located in common areas that are no longer in use for group activities throughout the communities, and are tied into our common Point of Sale system. A simple trip around the corner in a golf cart or down the elevator is enough to provide for essentials.
Thanks to our food-purchasing partners, U.S. Foods, for working with us to identify staple grocery items that we can keep in stock reliably and offered at reasonable price.
As our communities find out what we can keep in stock and what people want, our organization plans to adjust what we’re offering. We also plan to offer this service to our team members in the future, knowing that it’s important for them to feel safe when they bring home food and essentials for their families.