JOHNSTON, Iowa — Even with social distancing measures put in place in most grocery stores, senior citizens and people with compromised immune systems are still encouraged to stay home. With no way to get groceries themselves, a group of high school students are working to make sure they're still fed.
Tanner Kenin is a junior at Johnston High School. When school was put on hold, he got pretty bored. But when he realized the once-simple task of grocery shopping wasn't safe for his grandparents or his immunocompromised dad anymore, he decided to give himself something to do.
"I see there's an issue. What can I do to help fix this issue, and help people in my community?" Kenin said. "So I reached out to a few of my friends, and together we came up with our organization."
That organization is T's Angel Hands Grocery Delivery Service. It's mission: bringing groceries from the store or a food pantry to the door of someone who can't make it there themselves- for absolutely free.
For someone like Sharon Baldwin, who turns 77 next month, the virus is a very real fear. As a result, she said she hadn't been to the grocery store in over a month.
Her granddaughter had been shopping for her, but that took her away from three kids of her own. But then Baldwin read about the high schoolers willing to help and gave them a call. They got the job done, and her rating of them would certainly be a high one.
"I was so impressed," Baldwin said. "They arrived when they should've, and then he called me a few days later to see if everything had gone okay, which I thought was a great follow-up."
Hannah Daley, a fellow high school junior, said everyone she and Kenin asked to help was more than willing. It wasn't hard to find the people or the spare time to put to use.
"I am just so happy that I can help people who can't help themselves," Daley said. "And I think about my grandparents who are having their groceries delivered to them."
Kenin says he hopes people his age will continue to embrace the spirit of helping others, especially at times like this.
"You need to care about the people it will affect more, and youo need to stay at home for them so they can stay safe," Kenin said.
Kenin and his friends are looking for more people to help our. If you or someone you know could benefit from this service, or if you want to volunteer yourself, visit their website here.