“What’s on special this week?” “Are there any ‘buy one get one’ offers?” “Shall we start with the coupons?”
Volunteer order taker Ann Perkins hears these questions often when she calls clients for their bi-weekly grocery orders.
“Everybody has different approaches to saving money,” says Ann. “Some seniors ask what’s on sale because they don’t take the paper. Others have their ads and coupon books all lined up before I call.”
Subsidized and Sliding Scale Fees
“They’re smart shoppers,” she notes. “Everyone has asked over the past few weeks about the price of eggs [because of the bird flu]. One of my clients thought long and hard about whether she should buy them, but she did – it’s a cheap protein source.”
Stretching grocery budgets is not a choice but a necessity for some Store To Door clients. Besides automatically ringing up Cub Foods sale prices and deducting manufacturers’ coupons, Store To Door strives to keep services affordable for seniors in many other ways.
Alice Tennis, Store To Door program manager, notes that service fees are calculated on a sliding scale and subsidized based on federal poverty guidelines for income. In 2014, 26% of Store To Door’s clients reported incomes at or below federal poverty guidelines – which means they had annual incomes of $11,670 or less if they lived alone. An additional 44% of clients are also considered low income, living on less than $23,340 annually.
Since 2009, Store To Door has offered seniors the option of paying for their groceries with SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits. In addition, the agency partners with select Twin Cities area food shelves to deliver groceries to seniors at the greatest risk of food insecurity.
Financial Support from Multiple Sources
To ensure as many seniors as possible can access nonprofit grocery delivery services, Store To Door relies on generous support from numerous public, private and community sources.
Any gift is appreciated, as are the priceless contributions of volunteers like Ann Perkins. Thanks to the time and thoughtfulness of hundreds of volunteers, Store To Door services are always “on special” for our senior clients.
A longer version of this story appeared in the summer issue of our quarterly print newsletter. Read the full issue or other Store To Door publications now.