Grocery Grab: North County Teens Step Up to Help Elderly Neighbors

A group of Carlsbad teenagers are proving you don’t need much money or life experience to make a big difference right now

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Nolan Mejia, 16, used to lend an occasional helping hand to his mom at the grocery store, but these days, he is the veteran shopper of the family.

Mejia navigates North County supermarket aisles with ease and sometimes makes four trips a day.

"I definitely know all the stores better because I got to different stores all across Carlsbad," said Mejia, a student at Sage Creek High School.

Mejia and a group of friends started "Grocery Grab" back in March as a way to help senior citizens in the North County and have spent every day since making grocery runs.

But, unlike Instacart or other commercial delivery companies, the teenagers don't charge for their services, only the grocery bill.

Mejia said he and his friends were talking about how worried and nervous seniors must feel about getting their groceries at the store and putting themselves at risk for COVID-19 and decided they could do something.

After advertising on social media and the neighborhood information site "Nextdoor", they've connected with more than 50 senior citizens who have become regular customers.

"It's just awesome to connect with different seniors and learn from them and talk to them because I've met with a bunch of different seniors and they're like 'We want to continue this relationship with you, you're such a sweet person and we'd love to be part of your life'" Mejia said.

Often the seniors give tips to the teenagers for their time and service, but instead of pocketing the tips, the teens have donated the money to the San Diego COVID-19 Community Response Fund.

Mejia estimates they've donated roughly $1,500.

Contact Us