All you have to do is pick up their items when you make your next grocery store run, then drop them off with a no-contact delivery.

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If you're looking for a way to help your neighbor during the coronavirus pandemic, consider grocery shopping for a senior. Umbrella, a service that pairs volunteers (referred to as “neighbors’) with those ages 60 and over who need assistance, is waiving its fee so seniors can get essential supplies easily and safely. Once you sign up as a volunteer on Umbrella, a senior in your area will be able to send you their grocery list. When you do your own shopping, you can gather their items, too, and drop them off while following social distancing guidelines.

woman grocery shopping with face mask
Credit: Oscar Carrascosa Martinez/Getty Images

Lindsay Ullman, Umbrella founder and CEO, addressed the changing platform in a statement to current and future Umbrella customers.

“Thousands of you told us that getting groceries and medications worried you most,” she writes. “Online services were overloaded. And, non-digital members couldn’t use them in the first place; they needed to be able to pick up the phone and talk to someone. It was clear that our work at Umbrella had to change overnight, too.”

She explained that waiving the membership fee isn’t the only thing Umbrella has been doing. Over the last several weeks, the Umbrella staff has recruited thousands of new volunteers and partnered with grocery stores and local governments across the country to help make the process as easy and affordable for those in need. 

To request a delivery, fill out the request form on the Umbrella site to be paired with a volunteer in your area. Because the membership fee has been waived, anyone age 60 or older can request a delivery for a suggested donation of $10 to offset business and delivery costs. Once your volunteer has completed the delivery, you'll receive a copy of the receipt and can pay for the groceries with a credit card.

To sign up as a ‘neighbor,’ visit the Volunteer with Umbrella section of the website and fill out the form. Umbrella asks that you only sign up if you are not in a vulnerable age group, are healthy, have not been traveling, and have not had any signs of illness in the past 14 days. Keep in mind that you'll need to pay for the groceries when you pick them up, and Umbrella will reimburse you directly after you submit a photo of the receipt. 

If you’re healthy and looking for a way to give back, this is an easy way to have a positive impact in your community. 

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