One Grocery Store Has a Very Smart, Very Practical Way of Getting Essentials to Shoppers

updated Apr 20, 2020
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With the entire country trying to practice social distancing, businesses, restaurants, and grocery chains are getting more and more creative in order to get us the food we need (and keep everyone safe). Wholesale food-service distributors are now offering home delivery, restaurants are selling ingredients, grocery stores are implementing stricter safety measures, and online delivery services are working around the clock to help us set up contactless delivery. There are lots of little things we’re seeing, and we’re impressed by (and grateful for!) every single one. But we just found one idea in a recent Reddit thread that was so brilliant, it actually made us gasp.

“I wish grocery stores had a $50/week pack with essential staples in it on the curb ready to go … An essential pack would have: a dozen eggs, a half-gallon of milk, pack of chicken breast, ground beef, bananas, oranges, assorted veggies, small bag of rice, a pack of cookies, loaf of bread, roll of TP, roll of paper towels. The store can pack a bunch of boxes ahead of time and you can pay ahead of time. You pull up and pop the trunk, they put it in,” snoogins355 posted (and was met with 193 upvotes and 94 comments).

Commenters noted that Russo’s, a wholesale grocery chain in Boston, has actually already put this into practice. As a response to this pandemic, the retailer is packing up boxes of staples (in varying sizes) that people can purchase online ahead of time and pick up outside the store. All shoppers have to do is open their trunk upon arrival and a Russo’s employee will pack their car curbside.

Russo’s currently offers four options: The Basic ($55), The Big Box ($105), The Vegan Box ($55), and The Organic Box ($125). Boxes are filled with bread, fresh produce, aromatics (i.e., onions, garlic, and ginger), pasta, milk, eggs, cookies, flowers, beans, tofu, cheese, and sauces (all varying, based on which one you choose). As many commenters noted, meat has been omitted for food safety reasons; due to the way the boxes are kept outside the store, it must be excluded.

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

It’s not exactly the same, but we’ve seen Fresh Direct offering a “frozen box” with an assortment of fruits and veggies, and some farmers markets are offering boxes of various produce mixed with pantry staples. These boxes seem like an incredibly smart and efficient way to keep everyone safe and well-fed at the same time. We really hope that more retailers follow suit nationwide and make this option more widely available.

Are grocery stores or farmers markets in your area offering these sorts of boxes? Let us know in the comments below.