College student uses ‘shopping angels’ to help those at-risk from coronavirus get groceries

LAS VEGAS (KVVU/CNN) - A college student in Las Vegas has launched a program to make sure elderly people without any way to get groceries during the coronavirus crisis are not left without the essentials.

Jayde Powell, a pre-med student at the University of Nevada, Reno, wants to help those who can’t leave their homes during the coronavirus outbreak. (Source: KVVU/CNN)

President Donald Trump and health officials are urging people over 60 to stay at home, and it’s a scramble at supermarkets, with empty shelves a frequent sight. This has left some people without the means to buy essential supplies.

In response, Jayde Powell, a pre-med student at the University of Nevada, Reno, launched a program called Shopping Angels. It has no delivery fees and no extra costs. Jayde Powell just wants to help those who can’t leave their homes.

“Going to one store could be an all-day affair for an elderly person,” said Angela Powell, Jayde’s mother. “They don’t have a lot of money to spend on gas or energy to go to a lot of stores only to find out they don’t have the basic supplies to last them a couple weeks.”

Wearing masks and gloves, volunteers pick up groceries or anything the at-risk might need to get through a couple weeks and deliver the supplies directly to their homes.

What started as an effort with about three dozen college students in Reno and Las Vegas turned into a network connecting volunteers with people in need across the country, CNN reports.

Jayde Powell says she doesn’t want anyone to be afraid to reach out, even if they may not have the money to pay for supplies. She started a GoFundMe to help people afford essentials. It has raised more than $16,500.

Jayde Powell hopes to keep the program going beyond the coronavirus outbreak.

“Especially for at risk population, they’ll always be at risk,” she said. “Having something like this ready to go will always benefit in future outbreaks.”

Copyright 2020 KVVU, Gabriela Vergara, Yaime Rose, Tammy Moyle via CNN. All rights reserved.