By Ryan Trares, Daily Journal
GREENWOOD, Ind. (AP) — Under a statewide stay-at-home orders, people are required to stay home unless they need to make essential trips, including buying groceries.
But for those most vulnerable to COVID-19, even that necessity could prove too dangerous. That leaves older adults and those unable to leave their homes in a life-and-death quandary: how do they get food?
A group of local students and entrepreneurs hope they have a solution.
“You don’t realize that even people that you’re living next to might not have the resources to go out and get food. That’s crazy to me,” said Dylan Godsave, a senior at Center Grove High School. “They might have family, but they’re out of state, and there’s not really a service like this that does it this fast.”
Godsave has organized a group of southside students to help those unable to shop during the coronavirus crisis. South Side Delivers provides pick-up service for groceries and other items offered by local small businesses, dropping the bundles off at people’s houses at no cost.
The start-up has partnered with a number of local small businesses, such as Coffey Connection graphics and apparel company, to support the effort. At the same time, people can order those items to help support local businesses in this critical time.
“Our main goal is using our resources to help people, because we do have the resources to do that,” Godsave said. “In these times, there’s no reason not to help people.”
Godsave has experience dreaming up and executing emerging businesses. As an eighth-grader, he and a friend founded Casual Cosmetics, a company devoted to making high-end bath bombs, bubble cakes and face masks.
He works in computer programming now. During a recent meeting, the seeds of South Side Delivers were planted.
“Someone stopped the meeting, and asked, ‘What are we doing about this?’ That was when my brain went off — we have all of the resources and the people. Let’s do something,” he said.
The idea was a grocery delivery service for those who have been unable to leave their homes at risk of exposing themselves to the coronavirus. Clients fill out a form on the South Side Delivers website, and staff members contact those clients to get their lists.
Godsave and the rest of his team have been working with Kroger and Fresh Thyme grocery stores on the project. When the orders come in, they contact the stores to see who has the inventory that has been ordered.
If those items are in, staff members head out to purchase the groceries. If some are missing, they reach out to other stores, or work out when the next shipment of those items will be available.
“Those items will go on a back-order list. We’ll get all of the groceries to them that were in stock, and then when those other items come in, we’ll get them to people,” Godsave said.
Orders placed before noon will be delivered the same day. The company will try to drop off any orders made after noon as well, but if they cannot, it is guaranteed to be delivered the next day, Godsave said.
The company is following guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization and other health authorities to ensure deliveries are safe. They’ve been training to frequently disinfect all bags and surfaces that delivery staff touches, and will do contact-less drop-offs.
The orders have no delivery fee. All that customers are required to pay is the amount of the groceries, and payments can be made by credit card or with a check for cash at the time of delivery.
Figuring out how the business could support that model was a challenge. But the team at Coffey Connection came up with a solution.
In addition to groceries, people can also order products from local small businesses on the website.
Customers can pick out t-shirts, Center Grove apparel and other clothing from Coffey Connection, in addition to packaged baked goods, such as cookies and bath bombs.
“I’ve worked with so many small businesses, and they’ve given me so many sponsorships over the years. All of the sudden, their business is completely dry. We need to help them out, because they’ve helped us out so many times,” Godsave said.
For any of those items ordered, a small portion of the cost goes to South Side Delivers, supporting their own small business operation. A special line of t-shirts created by Coffey Connection will support Center Grove area businesses, with proceeds from the sales of those items going to those businesses.
“Those companies are really struggling right now, because they’re so used to people going out on the weekends and having a full house, then all of the sudden, that’s gone away,” Godsave said.
South Side Delivers started taking orders Thursday. For the time being, they’re focusing orders from the Center Grove area: County Line Road to the north and Whiteland Road to the south, between State Road 37 and U.S. 31.
But the hope is to expand those boundaries in the coming weeks, Godsave said.
“The more people we can reach, the more people we can help, which is ultimately the goal,” he said.
At a glance:
South Side Delivers
What: A service offering to shop for and delivery groceries and items from local businesses at no additional cost for those unable to leave their Greenwood area homes.
Who: Founded by Dylan Godsave, a Center Grove High School senior
Where: The boundaries of the service are County Line Road to the north and Whiteland Road to the south, between State Road 37 and U.S. 31. Godsave hopes to expand that in the future.
Cost: The service is free; customers only pay for the cost of the groceries or other items.
How to order: Orders can be placed at southsidedelivers.com.
Source: Daily Journal
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Source: The Village Reporter