Skip to content

Richmond not-for-profit offers free grocery delivery to seniors

Volunteers from Richmond Cares, Richmond Gives (RCRG) can provide grocery delivery, virtual and phone check-ins and laundry service for seniors who are living alone or are socially isolated.
Grocery delivery
Photo: Getty Images

Shopping for groceries in a pandemic is challenging for most of us but is particularly hard for the elderly, which is why a Richmond not-for-profit wants seniors to know there is help at hand.

“It’s a difficult time for seniors, and we want to remind everyone there is help,” said Ed Gavsie, president and CEO of Richmond Cares, Richmond Gives (RCRG), which has delivered at least 3,800 orders and meals to local seniors since mid-April. 

“Many seniors used to have adults and children help them with grocery shopping, but their family members might live far away or can’t get out, and this is the only way to help those in need,” Gavsie said about the free delivery service.

Seniors just have to provide their grocery list, and a means of paying for the items, and a volunteer will shop at Safeway or Pricesmart during quiet store hours and put the order on the senior’s doorstep the next morning, explained Gavsie, adding RCRG usually handles 120 orders per week. 

This is one of the programs that emerged out of the province’s emergency response plan, which the NDP expanded in mid-March. BC211 is a province-wide information and referral service that was established to match seniors whose support network had been affected by COVID-19 with volunteers who could fill those gaps. 

When a senior dials 211, a Ministry of Health operator will record their needs and share that with 24 hubs across B.C. which have been designated by the provincial government as senior COVID-19 response agencies. RCRG, which is Richmond’s hub for volunteering and donating, is one of them.

In addition to the grocery delivery service, volunteers from RCRG can also provide virtual and phone check-ins, laundry service, or free meal delivery for seniors who are living alone or are socially isolated.

“Each senior will be matched with a volunteer, and the volunteer will call them via Zoom once or twice a week. We have done 475 virtual visits and 370 phone visits,” said Gavsie. 

“We are also delivering frozen meals weekly from a company based in East-Richmond. Each meal costs around $5.50 and there are more than 40 selections they can choose from,” he added. 

To get access to support services, people can dial 211 or visit