Food delivery available statewide during coronavirus pandemic

Coronavirus

WEST GREENWICH, R.I. (WPRI) — A food delivery service is now available as Rhode Islanders are encouraged to stay home to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

Earlier this month, the state launched RI Delivers, a website listing food delivery options, and a partnership with Roch’s Fresh Foods to get food delivered statewide.

More Food Help: Senior Shopping Hours | Grab-and-Go Meal Locations for Students | Restaurants Offering Takeout/Delivery

Phones were ringing nonstop at Roch’s as employees worked to package and deliver orders.

“We are still doing every day Rhode Islanders. Anyone who needs their groceries, anyone who doesn’t feel comfortable leaving the house,” said Vice President of Roch’s Fresh Foods, Zach Roch. “We are still taking as many as we can handle.”

Orders can be placed online at RIDelivers.com or by calling 2-1-1. Phone orders are only being taken between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Online orders are encouraged.

Roch’s distribution facility is stocked with all of the items you would find at their Narragansett storefront including produce, meats and nonperishable items.

“For the most part, we can get you what you need,” Roch said. “We have the essentials.”

Once the order is placed, Roch’s says it will get delivered in two to three days but they ask customers be patient as they are seeing a large volume of orders. They are also offering curbside pickup services.

Roch’s hired six new employees but expects to hire more because of the amount of orders they are getting. The delivery service is free to customers.

“We have the supply, we have the infrastructure to deliver them,” Roch said. “But it’s just getting the orders to a timely fashion to people, it’s hard.”

The Rhode Island Department of Human Services says at this time, there are no restaurants or grocery stores providing deliveries to SNAP recipients.

“We are working with some community partners and our federal partner, FNS, to try to arrange such delivery but it requires that drivers have a Point of Sale device to swipe the EBT card at time of delivery,” said Chief Public Affairs Officer Alisha Pina.

But Pina says SNAP recipients do not need to do their shopping themselves. 

“It is entirely acceptable for someone to shop on behalf of a SNAP recipient and use that recipient’s EBT card to pay for those groceries,” Pina said in an email.

If you’re closer to Narragansett, the storefront location in Narragansett will take phone orders at (401) 284-2900 or by email at narrdelivery@rochs.com.

The RI Delivers web page also notes several other sites and services, from Instacart to Peapod.

RI Delivers is managed under the state’s Office of Healthy Aging, which can offer further guidance or answer questions through the state general assistance hotline, 2-1-1, or the office’s dedicated call center at (401) 462-4444.

*CORRECTION* A previous version of this story included a quote by Zach Roch saying they are taking EBT orders. The R.I. Department of Human Services corrected that statement, saying no restaurants or grocery stores are providing delivery to SNAP recipients at this time.

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