Covid-19 has hit a lot of people very hard and some of us out here were included. Many of the previously ‘fledged’ young people have been let go from their jobs in the various public-intensive service industries and have come home to their parents when, for the most part, the family had adjusted to living separately. Of course, love endures and the young person is welcome but, you know….people grow up and get their own place for a number of reasons and, when forced home, it can get a bit tense. Tense is one thing, but no income with an extra mouth to feed is quite another.
Some young people have addressed that rather nicely, mind you. A is a chef. Not yet a headliner, she is well on her way to a ‘star’ rating in the foreseeable future. She’s good. But, like others, she came home when the resort she was at had to close. The silver lining? She’s cooking at home and presenting the community with a small menu every week from which to choose. Her chili was fantastic! This is a good thing – having a nano-restaurant service OTG from which to add a bit of variety.
C’mon…? OTG with great restaurant food delivered!?
We also started up a food-delivery service BEFORE Covid-19 and the coordinator was trying to ‘make-do’ with a minor surcharge and the service was growing but…well, growing slowly. Along came a virus and people stayed home and, of course, the food delivery service started to get more popular.
Sally and K and J do the work distributing the BULK order that comes by water-taxi from Save-On on Fridays. Various customers send in personal orders to J. Then the orders are consolidated by her to make it easier on the Save-On staff shoppers. Save-On needs a few days to compile it, then the aggregate is delivered by a land-taxi to the water taxi and it’s then delivered to us a few hours later. Then the three women separate all of it back into individual orders, some of which are picked up and some delivered by our home support person – on her ATV or by way of her skiff.
All this happens OFF THE DAMN GRID!!!!! How wonderful is that? It is fabulous for us. We have not gone into town since we came back from the hospital stay. Sal is going over to the car today to start it ’cause it hasn’t been started in almost two months!
What did it take to make it all happen?
Well, first off the coordinator has to want the work. It is NOT a lot of money but it’s okay. Like most of the community members, the effort is partly volunteer – basic, practical community spirit. Same for the two helpers. The Home Support worker gets paid, but she also gives more time than is remunerated. Bottom line: it’s a voluntary community effort…..until……COVID!
After Covid put the world on self-isolation, the government and various funding bodies started to give money to delivery services for seniors. Well, we are mostly all seniors. And our isolation is even MORE than most. Our needs are greater. And so we applied and received a $2000 grant to help keep the old folks in grub.
That will end sometime soon, I’m sure. But by then, we should have a working system with enough customers to support it with just the modest surcharge. Generally speaking the ‘added cost’ to a weekly shop is between 10 and 15% which may seem a bit steep but not if you factor in the savings from having to do the shopping yourself. I may pay $60.00 – $75.00 a month for the service but it costs me that out-of-pocket if I go to town plus a lost day of my time. I am happy to pay that versus enduring a ‘town day’.
Other recently started services that support us are also great. There is a woman on the neighbouring island who does a regular Costco run in her truck. Fifteen percent delivery cost to our departure dock on her island. She’ll pick-up from other places along the way, too.
Who woulda thunk it? The stereotype of an OTG’er is some kind of hardy mountain man and his wife hacking and chopping and living like pioneers. Fighting off bears. They aren’t ever clean. They’re all weathered and leathery. They have it tough! OUR OTG experience included some of that – enough to write a pussy-version of it, anyway. But NOW, it is even better! It is almost (gasp) easy!! We are spoiled brats!