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In the midst of our current pandemic, Torontonians have been advised to limit the frequency of our grocery store trips if possible, in order to avoid crowded stores and close contact. Additionally, many have returned home from travels in the past week or so and are urged to completely self-isolate for two weeks (meaning NO grocery store trips). But, that being said, we need to eat! Not to mention that this social distancing situation is encouraging home cooks to sharpen their skills in the kitchen, considering that we have to eat all of our meals at home.
It comes as no surprise that grocery delivery services across the city have seen skyrocketing demand over the past couple of weeks. Store have been cleared of stock in some instances and are struggling to keep up with the needs of consumers. Similarly, services that promise delivery within a few hours are now taking up to multiple weeks. With Instacart, you can typically still snag a delivery time within a day or two, and it's a one stop shop to choose items from Walmart, Loblaws, Shoppers Drug Mart and Bulk Barn. Their app uses personal shoppers to collect the items, and the company reported in a statement that they plan to hire 300,000 more in the coming months to fulfill orders. Loblaws also offers deliveries and pickups independently, and they've stated that they plan to increase staff to help with both services. Grocery Gateway is currently experiencing delays of multiple days or up to weeks for delivery orders, and Walmart is in the same boat. Costco members receive free 2-day deliveries with qualifying orders, and for specialty, organic products, Fresh City Farms and Organic Garage deliver within a certain radius.
So, what can you expect if you want to order groceries? Firstly, order further in advance than you need to in case of delays, and be patient with delivery times - these stores and their shoppers are working overtime to help you out! Plan your grocery list well so you don't over-order and prevent others from receiving what they need. Additionally, use a service (like Instacart) that sends text updates to ask about replacement items, since some items may be out of stock at the moment. Last but not least, don't forget to sanitizer your grocery items when they arrive to be extra safe!