Alternatives for Fresh Produce

Although technology offers tremendous opportunities for social connection, education and entertainment during COVID-19 isolation, weeks of this altered reality have many people turning back to a lifestyle that may be more reminiscent of times before streaming services and TikTok.  More people are cooking and baking from scratch using the extra time to make nutritious meals at home. While stores and restaurants are closed to the public due to government restrictions, business owners are getting creative to give shoppers products they need in a new way.

Although older adults may be well-stocked in the canned and dry goods department, seniors may be starting to crave fresh fruits and vegetables and the occasional sweet treat.  That’s where restaurants, shops and farms are taking the initiative; a smoothie shop offering a fruit box for curbside pickup, a you-pick farm and orchard signing up clients for a weekly farm share or a local restaurant including pantry items, even toilet paper, along with their takeout menu.  

Seniors and people with underlying health conditions are most vulnerable to becoming seriously ill and suffering complications as a result of coronavirus infection.  And scheduling grocery deliveries or pickup can be difficult with the high demand, making shopping a challenge for anyone who would be safer not going to the store themselves.

Planting a vegetable garden is still a long way off for many people living in North America and some older adults are not able to garden or don’t have a plot of land to cultivate.  Community gardens are also problematic; keeping a safe distance from others may be difficult.  But farm shares or fresh produce delivery services can help seniors get a steady supply of fresh fruits and vegetables; an important component of a healthy diet. 

If you don’t mind produce with an imperfect shape, scarred nuts, surplus coffee or off-sized eggs, a delivery from an imperfect food service can help save money and food waste. If you are getting bored with the same rotation of groceries, a delivery service can help mix things up a bit with suggestions and in-season produce.  Many will even give you access to recipes for ingredients that may be new to your kitchen.

Why not embrace this space, try something new and help a local business stay afloat?