Grocery Delivery, I Miss You.

First of all, I want to start by saying that I know we are lucky to be relatively healthy in an acute way right now and I appreciate all the hard work that grocery workers are doing right now. I can be frustrated in the breakdown of the system without being angry at the people that are just doing the best they can in a difficult situation.

With that said, all the shutdowns of grocery delivery are incredibly frustrating for me in multiple ways. From a food allergy standpoint, it is frustrating that I can't access a way to cut down on time taken shopping. You see, I have to read every label of multi-ingredient items every time I purchase them. This makes shopping in stores take longer than it does for most people. If you see someone slowly making their way down each aisle, reading label after label, it's someone with food allergies. We can't just pick up a different brand and roll with it, because that brand might not be safe for us. I know a lot of families that call and speak to a representative of every brand they buy to ask about manufacturing practices. This takes forever and is infuriatingly slow on a regular day, let alone one where call volume is infinitely higher than usual.

Some textures aren't the same across brands, and something that is a safe food for someone with food aversions is not the same in another brand. The look and feel and overall textures of certain foods are comfortable and safe and known. New foods in a time that is already full of upheaval of routine is adding fuel to the fire and making a difficult situation even harder.

Trying to find the balance between getting enough to last for a while in case your safe foods aren't back soon, and not taking so much that another family that is in the same situation can't also do the same is so hard. Watching the breakdown of the food delivery system is... something else.

On top of having to carefully read each label, which takes forever on a good day, add in my chronic illnesses and it is a recipe for extreme frustration and fatigue inducing. Trying to shop in store is challenging for me on a good day, with all the stimulation and uncontrollable factors. With people panicking and being absolutely awful to fellow humans, it is something that brings feelings of complete dread even thinking about. The hours for “elderly and sick” customers are way too early for so many people, and I am nowhere near able to do any sort of shopping that early in the morning. The fact that many people that NEED to use these hours are also people that rely on rides and public transportation, and it is inaccessible for many people that need them.

Grocery delivery made my life so much easier. I didn't realize just how much I relied on it until it was no longer accessible. I am lucky that I am able to make due without it, and I have support to help me if needed. A lot of my friends don't have that same support and safety net.

I spent an hour putting together a grocery order only to have them tell me HALFWAY THROUGH CHECKOUT that there were no slots available anymore. This was an advertised service. Why are you advertising your service if it isn't actually available? Infuriating.



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