So, last night while I couldn’t sleep, I decided to check out home-delivery grocery shopping. Given that I am by myself, carrying a large load of groceries plus packs of 2L bottles of water is not the easiest - doable, but not easy- even with the little roller bag I have. Though there is a supermarket under my house, and though I am very fortunate to have it so close, the products available are much more limited than those in larger chain markets. So, I was curious to see how home-delivery works here and what products are available through the apps.
I downloaded the apps necessary- one single app that works for three supermarket and one that is specific to another. The first thing that you are instructed to do, obviously, is type in your address. I have four major supermarkets within close vicinity of me, so I figured there should be no problem with having my groceries delivered — BOY, WAS I WRONG
I was excited to see that my favorite store, the one that has its own app, had all the products I was looking for available. Taking my time, I browsed the app and selected the items I wanted. About 30 minutes or so after, I was ready to check out. The next step was to select a delivery date. NOW, THIS IS WHERE SH** GETS REAL! I looked at the calendar that displays only slots available for the next two weeks, and there were no spots available. ABSOLUTELY NONE! Time slots begin from 7:00 in the morning to 11:00 at night. It’s just crazy!
I remember my two friends saying that they had previously ordered their groceries online and had to wait three weeks for them to arrive. And, upon arrival, half the products where missing due to product being unavailable. I figured that this really just depended on the location of your residence. For example, one of my friends is in the center of Milano (which, right now, is in chaos) and the other is on the opposite side of Firenze.
Then, I looked at the other app—the one of the other three supermarkets. Without even selecting my items, I checked to see the next possible delivery date. With each store, I was presented with a pop-up message that says: “Siamo spiacenti. Tutte le consegne sono state prenotate. Riprova più tardi.” This translates to: “We are very sorry. All the delivery dates are reserved. Try again later.” With this, I said FU** IT, and I will just carry on using the lovely supermarket under my house.
I was just surprised…well, not surprised…as I’ve gotten to a point where few things actually surprise me. I was more disheartened. I thought about all those people who are PHYSICALLY LIMITED and can’t get to the supermarket to do their shopping. I thought about all those who really RELY on this service. It doesn’t seem possible that they would have to wait more than two weeks to get their groceries. I mean, I am SO THANKFUL for all the employees of the supermarkets who are working their asses off to deliver these services to the cities. But, from the looks of it, even with all of those busting their asses, it’s just not enough.
Luckily, there are all the small local producers who are offering delivery services, as well. In some areas of the city, you can find even butchers who are offering delivery. It is also thanks to these small businesses that the people in need are able to receive what they need.
One way or another, we find a way for everything. For now, I will continue to physically go to the grocery store and leave my “delivery slot” for those who really need it.
I would like to shine a spotlight on another example of how in times of crisis, acts of kindness are very much alive. There is a movement in which individuals “adopt” a Nonno/Nonna/Nonni. They help them by picking up groceries and other necessities and then deliver them. My sister mentioned this is happening in the States, too. When the reality of all this gets too heavy, I think about the selfless choices people are making to provide some relief to others.
Even with this, there are still so many people who are facing unimaginable challenges. I think often about those who are sick, homeless, or with disabilities. I think about what can be done to help them. I think about those in abusive relationships or children of abusive parents with literally no escape. This weighs so heavy on my heart.
People don’t understand that it is PRIVILEGE to be bored at home. Be bored. That’s your part – your minimal, privileged part – in all this. Be bored, so that those who are in need – ACTUAL NEED – can get what they need sooner rather than later.
We must never lose sight of all the things that HAVE ALWAYS and WILL ALWAYS remain important.