Shopping Angels Offer Free Grocery Delivery to Those in Need

Volunteers are food shopping for the elderly and at-risk people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Quarantine – Woman Helping Senior ManThe elderly and at-risk population in Rhode Island may be wondering how to safely get groceries into their homes. Thankfully, there’s a local branch to a national volunteer program called Shopping Angels that’s available to help. It all started when University of Nevada, Reno, pre-med student Jayde Powell began the program Shopping Angels as a way to help the sick and the elderly by offering free grocery delivery. Now, their efforts have expanded nationwide with more than 2,800 volunteers in all fifty states.

Kristen Perhamus, of Middletown, is the Rhode Island state coordinator, organizing efforts for more than seventy volunteers offering their services to nearly forty elderly and at-risk Rhode Islanders.

The process goes like this:

1. Clients are to fill out a Google Form that matches them to a volunteer in their area and then the volunteer will contact them for details, such as the shopping list.

2. Volunteers will go to a store, or sometimes several stores, to find the requested items.

3. Upon delivery, clients exchange cash for their items. No one is expected to pay more than the amount shown on the receipt.

Perhamus asks that clients exercise social distancing procedures during deliveries which may include leaving the cash outside or paying electronically. Volunteers should not enter any homes in case of transmitting outside contaminants.

If you are interested in volunteering, you can fill out the same Google Form provided that:

1. You have not been in contact with anyone tested positive for COVID-19.

2. You have not traveled outside of the country in the last fourteen days.

3. You do not display illness symptoms, such as fever, cough and shortness of breath.

4. You agree to wear rubber/latex gloves or a substitute, such as gardening or snow gloves.


Interested volunteers and those in need of help can also reach out by email at


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