Each Wednesday and Thursday, Kyle and Kurt head to Beaverton Fred Meyer at 8:00 A.M. to grocery shop for Store to Door’s homebound clients. The father-son power duo team up to shop a few orders, before Kyle splits off and takes over belt-loading duties. Experienced volunteers at this point, ‘the dream team’ are a fixture in the store on shopping days, and a key part of Store to Door’s operation at the Beaverton store.
Kurt cooks regularly and knows his way around a grocery store. So, when he retired a few months ago, coming across Store to Door on the Beaverton volunteer site, there was natural connection. While enjoying the slower pace and mental break from years doing remote computer work, volunteering poses an opportunity for Kurt and Kyle to get out of the house, and to connect both with each other and with other volunteers.
For Kyle, belt loading at Fred Meyer has become a part of his routine he looks forward to. One of their favorite parts of belt loading is getting a glimpse into the clients’ lives through their orders. While Kurt is a regular grocery shopper, he notes that “it’s a different game,” shopping for client’s orders versus for his own family. For instance, a client may order “a Jell-o butterscotch pudding, but it can’t be sugar free.. and it has to be instant…” so it turns into a scavenger hunt. Kyle likes seeing all the different types of options too; he shared that one client had ordered nearly 15 types of Lean Cuisines!
We all have different food preferences and dietary needs. Being able to get exactly the type of Jell-O, fresh produce or even Lean Cuisine that appeals to you is something that many take for granted. It makes a difference to be able to have the agency to choose food that you enjoy and that and nourishes your needs.
“We’re serving a group of people who can’t necessarily get out and do the things that they need to do to take care of [themselves],” Kurt says about the pair’s weekly volunteer work. Filling that gap makes Kyle “feel appreciated” when he “improves the community, see[s] smiles, and can make people feel happy more.”
Store to Door’s program work is made possible by the support of individual donors. Donate now to keep our essential services running and help sustain our housebound community!