Carol Harding

Shopping service caters to home-bound people

New initiative will provide groceries for shut-ins in Sooke

Carol Harding is a woman about town who is known for her plethora of community-minded activities. As if she doesn’t have enough to do, she has started what she hopes will become a tremendous success — a grocery shopping service.

“The whole idea came from CHI and the District of Sooke,” said Harding. “Originally I think it came from the doctors’ office when they asked a senior the question, “What can we do to keep you safe and happy in your own home?”

Later at a gathering where a lot of seniors happened to be, the question was raised once again and the one thing they came away with was, yes, they needed a shopping service.

Harding and Judy Planes went to see Buz Merriam, the general manager at Western Foods and he agreed this was a good idea. Western already has a delivery service, Monday to Friday, and the addition of shopping would add to the services they have been providing to people in Sooke over the last 20 years.

“I think it’s something we need in the community,” said Buz Merriam. “The seniors requested someone do this for them and since we have seniors’ day, we would be a good fit for them. I hope it goes well and people use it.”

The shopping will be done by Harding and Planes and they will deliver the groceries to the client in their own vehicles. A $5 charge will offset the cost of gas.

The service is available to those who are shut-in and cannot easily get out and shop for themselves. It is open to anyone of any age that is house bound.

Starting March 5 from 9 to 11 a.m. and every Thursday after, the “client” will call the telephone line at Western, (250-642-6525), and give Harding or Planes their grocery order.

“One of us will answer and we will need to know exactly what you want,” said Harding.

She said the person ordering needs to know the brand and size as well of  quantity of everything they  order.  They need to be specific, she said. Do they want butter, if so, what brand, and is it butter or margarine?

While one of them is on the phone the other will be shopping and as it is Thursday the customer will get the 10 per debt discount for seniors. This, said Harding, can offset the $5 cost for delivery of the groceries. The shoppers will have a float and they will be reimbursed when the groceries are delivered. They cannot process credit or debit cards. All of the money raised with the delivery charge will go to a local charity.

“I hope we can get it going,” said Harding. “It is something that is needed, even for people who are sick.”

If all goes as hoped, Harding foresees the need for another volunteer.

“It’s a Sookie thing to do, isn’t it?” said Harding.