MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) —A Twin Cities teenager came up with an idea to help people most at risk for COVID-19. Do the grocery shopping for them so they can stay home. The idea has spread across the metro.

Peyton LaFrenz is spending more time at the grocery store these days. She launched what she calls Grocery Gatherers. Armed with a list, she’s shopping for others every few days.

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“Grocery Gatherers is a super easy process where our clients can go to grocerygatherers.com, send us an email and then we give them a phone call, get their shopping list, shop for them and then deliver their groceries right to their front door,” LaFrenz said.

The Wayzata High School junior said she got the idea thinking about her own grandparents.

“I was kind of worried about them and how they were going to be able to be helped through this. It kind of turned into what can I do to help those that don’t have relatives that live around here to do shopping for them,” LaFrenz said.

The free service offers assistance to the most vulnerable to COVID-19, people over 70 and those with compromised immune systems. The gatherers leave the groceries on the doorstep so there’s no face to face contact.

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“It just feels really good to be able to help out the community in a time of crisis like this one, it all comes back to giving back,” LaFrenz said.

And it’s grown. Other students in Wayzata and Orono have stepped up. So have adults around the metro. The service is now offered in the Twin Cities and locations in the East and West Metro.

“Spread the word. As many people that are using our service are just more people that are staying inside and limiting the risk of exposure. So please reach out to us and use our service, we’d love to be able to help you,” LaFrenz said.

You can sign up to have groceries delivered or to be a gatherer.

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These are all volunteers. The payment for the groceries is worked out ahead of time. Any tips the get are donated to Interfaith Outreach in Wayzata.

Jennifer Mayerle