Over the last few weeks, many of the things we used to take for granted have been taken or transformed due to the coronavirus pandemic and grocery delivery is one of them.

The old days of having your food delivered or your click-and-collect order ready for pick up an hour or two after selecting your groceries through an app are gone (for now), but grocery delivery isn't. We just have to do things a little differently.

Parents have been frustrated—and sometimes even frightened—by the lack of grocery delivery options (especially when one of America's top doctors is saying now is not the time for parents to go grocery shopping) but thankfully, entire industries are pivoting to meet the new demand for home delivery.

If you haven't been able to get groceries delivered lately, new options are springing up to serve you, mama.

Here are some of the new ways to get food without going out:

Call a cab:

In many communities in North America, taxi companies are pivoting to food delivery as they've now got so few people to ferry about. Call your local cab companies and ask if they do food delivery. They may not be able to do the shopping for you, but if your grocery store offers curbside pick-up or click-and-collect they can save you the trip.

Use Door Dash or Postmates:

if you're just trying to get some paper towels or a few smaller items to get you through to your next large grocery shop you can use Door Dash, previously best known for delivering takeout restaurant food, to order staples like diapers, boxes of cereal, milk, sugar and eggs from convenience stores.

Postmates, too, is pivoting into the grocery game and can deliver things like diapers, dog food, fresh fruit and baking powder through its Postmates Fresh service (depending on your area). In some areas you can even use Postmates to place an order from Duane Reed or Walgreens.

Your local markets may be delivering:

It's worth calling your local independent grocery stores to see if they are delivering—many smaller businesses are now offering delivery services as a way to keep customers during the pandemic. It takes some work to call around and find out what the options are in your community but it's totally worth it to get your groceries delivered (with the bonus of supporting your local businesses).

Small specialty stores are also getting into the delivery game:

Don't ignore the specialty shops. Many little butchers, bakeries and natural food stores are willing to deliver to customers right now. This pandemic is forcing us apart but in some ways it's also forcing us to connect with our communities in ways we have not done before.

Make the most of weekly produce boxes:

If you've never signed up for a veggie co-op (sometimes known as community supported agriculture boxes) now is a great time to check them out. Around the country farmers, farmers markets and organic retailers offer weekly or bi-weekly delivered boxes of locally grown, seasonal fruits and vegetables delivered to your door.

If that sounds too fancy for your budget right now check out the Misfits Market box, which offers slightly ugly fruits and veg for 40% less than grocery store prices (just pop your zip code in to see if they deliver to your area.

Ask for help:

Delivery fees can add up, so if that's not in your budget right now you can contact your local government, community groups and churches for leads on grocery delivery help. You can also try using Facebook's new Request Help feature to ask others in your community to add your grocery pick up to their run.

An update on standard grocery delivery options:

Instacart's just launched new features to try to get groceries to you faster 

Instacart

When the pandemic confined us to our homes the demand for grocery delivery overwhelmed stores and services that previously offered it, but several companies tell Motherly things are getting back to normal.

While many parents have found it nearly impossible to get groceries via Instacart. the company just launched a couple of new features to help speed things up. The new features are called "Fast & Flexible" and "Order Ahead."

Fast and Flexible "gives customers the option to have their order delivered by the first available shopper, rather than schedule it for a specific delivery window," Instacart states in a news release.

Order Ahead allows customers to now place orders up to two weeks in advance, something that could be really handy as we're all a bit more practical with our menu planning now that we can't run out to the store.

While labor concerns have been an issue for Instacart (and customers who are concerned about the well-being of the people delivering groceries), the company says it has "worked over the last several weeks with several third-party manufacturers, in consultation with medical and infectious disease experts, to source and develop new health and safety kits for shoppers that include face masks, hand sanitizer and thermometers."

Walmart + Amazon are also ramping up delivery capacity

In a statement to Motherly, a Walmart spokesperson explained the company is obviously seeing a huge increase in demand for pickup and delivery services and is trying to offer time slots as soon as possible, but within a shorter time frame than usual.
"It will allow us to better serve our customers during this busy time. We're continuing to work hard to add more availability for pickup and delivery," they explain.

Amazon, too, is making changes to increase capacity, including suspending it's third-party delivery service to focus more on fulfilling essential household deliveries.

Having a newborn is challenging at the best of times, but during forced isolation and in a climate of fear and uncertainty, it can become overwhelming.

The coronavirus pandemic is setting up our communities for genuine mental health concerns. This may be especially true for new parents. When will 'normal' life return? How will I pay for diapers and baby food? Will my mom be able to help us now? What if my baby or my family get COVID-19? Unfortunately, no one knows the long-term impact or answers just yet.

Most families have built a network of social support by the time they have their first child—if they don't already have a support system, they develop one through various baby classes and groups set up for parents. The creation of the village can be instrumental to the mental health of new parents. Social distancing, the lockdown of cities, and isolation will inadvertently affect the type of support available.

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