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  • Shopping Angels deliver groceries for those in need

    Author: AAP

The Shopping Angels initiative has spread from the United States to Australia, connecting people who need groceries with volunteers offering to help.

People unable to leave home to buy groceries during the coronavirus crisis are being helped by a host of people heralded as angels.

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Volunteer shoppers are offering to buy groceries for people living in unusual places such as the small Coochiemudlo Island in Moreton Bay, near Brisbane.

The outbreak of COVID-19 sparked the start of Shopping Angels in the United States and now the initiative is spreading throughout Australia.

From their Gold Coast homes, national co-founders of the group, Julian Corvin and Tara O'Kane, are connecting people in need with those offering to do grocery shopping.

"It's just a grassroots group of volunteers," Ms Corvin said.

But they are a creative group, finding a solution even when faced with a delivery to Coochiemudlo, an island home to just 700 people.

"(Residents) don't want outsiders going to the island so we got someone on the mainland to buy the groceries and deliver to the ferry, and then they were picked up on the island," Ms Corvin told AAP.

Calls for help come from people in isolation or unable to get out and from families concerned about a loved one.

Some just need a few basics to last until they get a delivery from supermarkets that are swamped by demand.

Others are single mums trying to avoid taking their children to the shops or people with a disability whose carers aren't visiting any more.

Ms Corvin and Ms O'Kane spread the word through social media, calling for volunteers to help those in need.

"If someone reaches out we'll try our best to help them," Ms Corvin says.

Volunteers who pay for the groceries and are reimbursed by those making the request.

Contact is only by phone and shoppers leave the grocery deliveries outside people's front doors.

Ms Corvin says she felt totally helpless when news of the coronavirus' impacts broke but the initiative helped her connect with people.

She encouraged people to use the service and volunteer to shop by signing up via the Shopping Angels AUS Facebook page.

"It's a really easy way to help that doesn't take a lot of time," Ms Corvin said.

"It's just a small way to give in your own neighbourhood."


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