Oakland County offers free grocery delivery to seniors through Shipt

By: Jonathan Shead | C&G Newspapers | Published December 8, 2020

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OAKLAND COUNTY — Keego Harbor resident David Emmings, 61, and his wife’s last worry in the midst of this pandemic has been their bi- or tri-weekly trip to the supermarket for groceries.

“As safe as you can be in staying home, masking up, (and) staying 6 feet apart, the bare necessities of needing groceries was our last variable of being out in the public,” Emmings said, adding that he and his wife stocked up as much as possible with each new trip. “That worked, but still of course going into the grocery stores just felt like that was still a risk we preferred not to take.”

A new Oakland County program offers free same-day grocery delivery services to senior residents through the application Shipt.

“Even though COVID-19 affects all age groups, seniors continue to be the most vulnerable group,” Oakland County Executive David Coulter said. “Giving them the peace of mind of not having to go out of their house, if they choose, to grocery shop and the like, I think is an important step to help keep them as safe as they need to be.”

The county began offering its first round of Shipt memberships Nov. 23, giving out 6,800 memberships to local seniors. Coulter explained the program took a brief pause after phase one after being overwhelmed by the volume of applicants, “in a good way,” he said. Phase two of the program opened Dec. 1, with 8,200 Shipt memberships still available at press time. The county will provide 15,000 total memberships to seniors.

“We believe we’ll have enough to meet the demand, but it’s still important that people do this as soon as possible,” Coulter said.

Residents 60 and older who live in Oakland County can sign up to receive free grocery delivery from Shipt through the county, who will be paying for the $99 annual delivery fee associated with signing up. Residents will be required to pay for the items they wish to have delivered. Shipt workers can deliver from various shopping locations to bring refrigerated foods and other groceries, pet supplies, or simple household items commonly found at the supermarket.

Memberships provided by the county will be active for one year, at which time the memberships will automatically not renew, unless an individual resident wishes to renew theirs, a perk Emmings said he enjoyed and believed was unique about the program.

While most stores offer curbside pickup programs, including Kroger, Meijer, Target and Aldi, Emmings said going through Shipt provides the added benefit of not having to leave the house.

“What this gives you is another variable for seniors who might not have the mobility, or during the bad winter months don’t want to go out and drive, this gives you another option to have the groceries delivered right to your house,” he said.

Senior residents can sign up for their free Shipt membership at oakgov.com/covid/grants/Pages/grocery-delivery.aspx or by calling the county’s help hotline at (248) 858-1000.

Coulter said an important second step, after applying through the county, is to ensure seniors are also redeeming the confirmation code they receive through the Shipt application itself. The confirmation code will be delivered via email and by United States postal mail within seven days. Residents have until Dec. 20 to redeem their code before it expires.

Emmings said his experience with the program has been good thus far, and it’s made him dig deeper into all the options and associated costs for grocery pickup and delivery out there. He suggested people use this program as a launching pad to investigate all their options to land on the program that works best for their comfort level, limitations, and budget.

For more information, visit oakgov.com or contact the county’s help hotline by phone at (248) 858-1000 or by email at hotline@oakgov.com.