coronavirus pandemic

Teens' Groceries for Seniors Program Proves Some Good Has Come Out of the Pandemic

"Teens Helping Seniors" is protecting the vulnerable population

NBCUniversal, Inc.

They got up to go grocery shopping much earlier than most young people during summer break.

Emily Fuster and Alex Chen had a shopping list ready to go as they walked into the Pacific Beach Vons.

They aren’t shopping for themselves. They’re shopping for someone they’ve never met.

“Our goal is to deliver contactless groceries to seniors,” said Chen.

“I knew that at the onset of COVID there would be so many vulnerable residents in our community,” explained Fuster.

Both are with a new group called Teens Helping Seniors. It’s a nationwide effort founded in Maryland to get teenagers to deliver groceries, medications, and supplies to people who cannot or should not be leaving home during a pandemic.

“Just doing this will show the seniors that not all teenagers are bad, and they can do good stuff and hopefully we can bridge the gap between generations,” Chen said.

Fuster and Chen wear masks and gloves while shopping for orders placed on the group’s website. They wash their hands and change gloves once they get to the customers' homes.

“It’s kind of my responsibility,” said Fuster, just one of hundreds on the growing list of volunteers. “Just feeling safe. I think that’s the biggest thing.”

"Knowing that they’re just inside their home and they’re safe and they’re not at risky places like a grocery store that’s really populated,” Chen said, finishing Fuster’s sentence.

The duo will leave the groceries on the doorstep and text their unseen friend from the car. The senior will either Venmo them the cost of the groceries or leave a check outside.

“It always feels so good to make that delivery,” said Fuster.

The Teens Helping Seniors website said it already has hundreds of volunteers operating in more than a dozen U.S. cities. People who need assistance getting deliveries or people who want to volunteer can do so through the website.

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