East Bay volunteers partner with grocer to deliver food to home bound seniors

Amid the stay at home order in the Bay Area to prevent the spread of COVID-19, a group of volunteers in the Lamorinda area are shopping for home bound seniors and delivering those groceries to their homes.

The idea is the result of a partnership between Diablo Foods in Lafayette and Lamorinda Village, a non-profit organization that helps seniors.

Connie Collier, co-owner of Diablo Foods, said roughly 35% of their shoppers are senior citizens. The small store doesn’t have the ability to deliver groceries itself.

“I’d rather have them in their homes where they’re safe rather than being out and about,” Collier said. “Today alone we’ve probably received 50 calls and we’ve been telling them about the number to call and the name and a volunteer will call you.”

Kathryn Ishizu, Operations Manager with Lamorinda Village, said after Diablo Foods called them, the organization started spreading the message on social media about the need for volunteers to deliver groceries. Lamorinda Village quickly increased their normal volunteer staff from 80 people to approximately 120.

“Lamorinda Village is very much a pay it forward type of organization,” Ishizu said. “I just want to say thank you to the volunteers. That’s what makes this community so special.”

Ishizu said many local organizations have signed up to help too, including the local rotary club.

Diablo Foods is a small, family-owned store, that has been in business for 52 years. The store is practicing social distancing and trying to keep the shelves stocked as best they can while they wait for deliveries from their supplier.