A Richmondite is asking the city to mobilize Block Watch captains to deliver groceries and medicine to vulnerable individuals and those who wish to limit contact with the public due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Placing bags of food on doorsteps or texting your neighbours about where you want your groceries to be dropped off might become a new trend in Richmond as the COVID-19 spreads, according to John Roston, one of the captains of the Richmond Block Watch program.
Roston told the Richmond News that the non-contact, drop-off service could benefit roughly 100 people in his neighbourhood and also reassure residents who have trouble going to stores.
“Many people are concerned about what’s going to happen over the next few weeks. People feel that if something happens, they might need assistance, but not all of us have family and friends nearby who can provide help,” said Roston.
“(The food delivery service) is partly to reassure people that they aren’t alone. This is a way to say, don’t worry, your neighours aren’t going anywhere - they can help you.”
Roston added that he received numerous offers of support within 24 hours of sharing the idea with his neighbours. At least 10 people asked to join the volunteer-led initiative.
“If someone needs anything, they can call me. I will send a message to the group to ask if anyone is shopping. Then I will put the two in touch. Volunteers can leave groceries at the front door along with the bill, and people can e-transfer money to the person who is buying,” explained Roston.
As a free and community-based program, Richmond Block Watch was initially created to help residents organize their neighbourhoods to prevent crime in the local community.
The News has reached out to RCMP for further comment.