This student created a network of 'shopping angels' to help the elderly get groceries during the coronavirus pandemic

This University of Nevada, Reno, student started the program Shopping Angels to deliver supplies and food to elderly members of the community that are the most at risk of being exposed to coronavirus.

Posted: Mar 17, 2020 8:29 AM
Updated: Mar 17, 2020 4:15 PM


Amid the desperate crowds and sparse shelves at supermarkets across the country, there is grace in the aisles. Jayde Powell is a 'shopping angel,' and she and her growing army of volunteers are providing free grocery delivery to the sick and elderly.

Powell is an honor student at the University of Nevada, Reno. She got the idea to organize a few volunteers to help out during the pandemic when her mother mentioned calling elderly neighbors to see whether they needed anything.

'As a pre-med student, I know that people who are older or people who have heart, lung or immune conditions are especially at risk for contracting the virus,' Powell told CNN.

Kindness goes national

She started 'Shopping Angels' by enlisting about 20 members of her medical fraternity, Phi Delta Epsilon. As need grew, she reached out to other classmates and turned to social media to recruit more. But Powell credits her interview with CNN affiliate KVVU for putting Shopping Angels on the national scene.

'It is really quite astonishing to me,' she said.

'I woke up this morning to 20 voicemails and 56 emails. And I've got people in Connecticut, Long Island, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Arizona that want to volunteer.'

Since March 13, the 20-year-old has been diligently connecting volunteers across the country with people in need through email, phone and Facebook.

Some clients give their angel a shopping list, budget and money to cover the purchase. Other clients purchase their groceries online, and a shopping angel does the pickup.

With many older adults living in poverty, Powell said she doesn't want anyone to be afraid to reach out because of their budget.

'We don't want money to be a deterrent,' she explained. 'If you cannot afford toilet paper or something like that, you're still to reach out to us.'

Powell created a GoFundMe account to help those who may not be able to afford essentials.

Las Vegas-based Anderson Dairy has also contacted Powell to donate dairy products to the program.

'We're doing this to try and reach out to people who might feel that they are just completely alone in this situation.'

Powell requires her shopping angels to wear masks and gloves during transportation, pickup and delivery. Additionally, Powell asks her volunteers not to go inside the homes for the safety of everyone involved.

To find out how you can get involved, head over to the Shopping Angels Facebook page.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 515504

Reported Deaths: 10296
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34999558
DeSoto33360432
Hinds32743643
Jackson24906392
Rankin22565405
Lee16455245
Madison14954283
Jones14158248
Forrest13834260
Lauderdale12311323
Lowndes11357193
Lamar10693140
Pearl River9748244
Lafayette8868143
Hancock7849132
Washington7559169
Oktibbeha7229138
Monroe7068179
Pontotoc7033110
Warren6885178
Panola6791135
Neshoba6744210
Marshall6707142
Bolivar6468151
Union643598
Pike5942157
Alcorn5921107
Lincoln5540136
George510680
Prentiss508285
Tippah495683
Itawamba4884107
Scott478999
Tate4777117
Adams4776125
Leflore4749144
Copiah458195
Yazoo458092
Simpson4566117
Wayne443472
Covington434895
Sunflower4319106
Marion4295112
Coahoma4244110
Leake414191
Newton396182
Tishomingo386894
Grenada3789109
Stone366166
Jasper341266
Attala340490
Chickasaw318367
Winston318392
Clay312978
Clarke301695
Calhoun286850
Holmes272889
Smith270552
Yalobusha244947
Tallahatchie232353
Greene225149
Walthall222166
Lawrence220242
Perry214556
Amite210357
Webster206548
Noxubee188843
Montgomery182157
Carroll175441
Jefferson Davis174343
Tunica163539
Benton153139
Kemper145441
Choctaw137027
Claiborne134839
Humphreys132239
Franklin126530
Quitman107828
Wilkinson106139
Jefferson97134
Sharkey65321
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 847659

Reported Deaths: 16172
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1163752005
Mobile743371381
Madison53434738
Shelby38413371
Baldwin38171589
Tuscaloosa36131643
Montgomery34571782
Lee25664264
Calhoun22622519
Morgan22527408
Etowah20059520
Marshall18821318
Houston17769426
St. Clair16946359
Limestone16192220
Cullman16140305
Elmore15948295
Lauderdale15055307
Talladega14244302
DeKalb13061271
Walker12138380
Blount10765193
Autauga10545157
Jackson10204195
Coffee9435192
Colbert9363210
Dale9038192
Tallapoosa7283202
Russell710165
Chilton7078170
Covington6967197
Escambia6962144
Franklin6364108
Chambers5795142
Marion5435130
Dallas5302210
Pike5128109
Clarke485686
Lawrence4845130
Winston4785110
Geneva4650136
Bibb435495
Barbour370180
Butler3444101
Marengo342793
Monroe338366
Randolph337767
Pickens334790
Fayette331485
Henry321066
Cherokee319964
Hale318889
Crenshaw261678
Washington256852
Cleburne255460
Lamar253555
Clay252069
Macon245767
Conecuh193562
Coosa185847
Wilcox178338
Lowndes178268
Bullock152745
Perry141840
Sumter139741
Greene130345
Choctaw94328
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