News

These local teens are bringing groceries to the elderly during the coronavirus pandemic

'Zoomers to Boomers' organization makes free deliveries to at-risk groups

David Cope is photographed through a window in his Menlo Park home on May 28. He and six of his M-A classmates launched a local branch of Zoomers to Boomers. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

When the coronavirus crisis first began to snowball back in mid-March and cause all Bay Area schools to close, it left Menlo-Atherton High School junior David Cope with little to do except his schoolwork — now done from his computer at home.

But as summer vacation approached, the 17-year-old Cope realized he wanted to get outside and do something bigger.

“I felt bad because during this crisis I’ve only been doing schoolwork, and haven’t had to deal with any issues firsthand,” he said. “And there are a lot of people really struggling right now with the coronavirus.”

Cope was well aware of virus's effects on San Mateo County, with the numbers at 2,165 total coronavirus cases and 84 deaths, as of Sunday, and many at-risk groups living in fear.

He came across a Forbes article about an organization which had high schoolers like him deliver groceries to the elderly and immunocompromised (two groups that health officials have deemed at high risk of COVID-19).

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The organization is called Zoomers to Boomers — a reference to the generations across which the food is delivered: Generation Z, or "Zoomers" (born between 1995 and 2010) to Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964).

Much like grocery delivery apps such as Instacart, people order online and the teen volunteers deliver the groceries. But unlike the commercial apps, Zoomers to Boomers charges no delivery fee.

Cope wanted to contribute, and liked the idea of helping the older generation. “I felt like Zoomers to Boomers would be a good opportunity to give back,” he said. “If I was in that situation, I would hope for the younger generation to help me, too.”

He reached out to the organization’s founder, 17-year-old Danny Goldberg of Santa Barbara, who helped him set up a branch serving Menlo Park and Atherton. Cope enlisted six of his friends from Menlo-Atherton High School to join, and the group launched its local branch on Tuesday, May 26.

Cope said that Menlo Park and Atherton residents can enter their grocery store orders on the organization's website, and they will deliver from any local store. Groceries will be delivered within 48 hours — a notably speedy time, compared to some commercial services which have been taking several days due to high demand.

Zoomers to Boomers on the rise

Cope's local chapter of Zoomers to Boomers is just one part of a nationwide organization that has expanded quickly over the past two months.

Started in Santa Barbara in mid-March, Zoomers to Boomers has now spread to 26 cities, recruited over 300 volunteers, and made over 4,000 free grocery deliveries, according to the group's website.

Founder Danny Goldberg told Forbes that the inspiration came in part from his father, who is an ER doctor. "Almost every day, I saw my dad leave for work in the ER, and it inspired me to do more for my community," he said. "This led me to think about what I could do to help, and it was during this time that I realized that we had no systems in place to get the elderly food."

While Zoomers to Boomers has landed in Menlo Park and Atherton just this week, Cope said they have already begun getting orders. His team of volunteers from Menlo-Atherton High School includes head of operations Harrison Farrell, group leader Adam Todd, and team members Ian Duszynski, Rowen Barnes, Ben Witeck and Dylan Malloy.

Like Goldberg, Cope said that he was inspired by others who were making a difference in a time of crisis. "I really didn't want to be passive in my community," he said. "I would so much rather be an active member because I know that I have the power to be helpful and make an effective difference to those who need assistance."

Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by the Almanac, Mountain View Voice and Palo Alto Online here.

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These local teens are bringing groceries to the elderly during the coronavirus pandemic

'Zoomers to Boomers' organization makes free deliveries to at-risk groups

by / Almanac

Uploaded: Tue, Jun 2, 2020, 9:49 am

When the coronavirus crisis first began to snowball back in mid-March and cause all Bay Area schools to close, it left Menlo-Atherton High School junior David Cope with little to do except his schoolwork — now done from his computer at home.

But as summer vacation approached, the 17-year-old Cope realized he wanted to get outside and do something bigger.

“I felt bad because during this crisis I’ve only been doing schoolwork, and haven’t had to deal with any issues firsthand,” he said. “And there are a lot of people really struggling right now with the coronavirus.”

Cope was well aware of virus's effects on San Mateo County, with the numbers at 2,165 total coronavirus cases and 84 deaths, as of Sunday, and many at-risk groups living in fear.

He came across a Forbes article about an organization which had high schoolers like him deliver groceries to the elderly and immunocompromised (two groups that health officials have deemed at high risk of COVID-19).

The organization is called Zoomers to Boomers — a reference to the generations across which the food is delivered: Generation Z, or "Zoomers" (born between 1995 and 2010) to Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964).

Much like grocery delivery apps such as Instacart, people order online and the teen volunteers deliver the groceries. But unlike the commercial apps, Zoomers to Boomers charges no delivery fee.

Cope wanted to contribute, and liked the idea of helping the older generation. “I felt like Zoomers to Boomers would be a good opportunity to give back,” he said. “If I was in that situation, I would hope for the younger generation to help me, too.”

He reached out to the organization’s founder, 17-year-old Danny Goldberg of Santa Barbara, who helped him set up a branch serving Menlo Park and Atherton. Cope enlisted six of his friends from Menlo-Atherton High School to join, and the group launched its local branch on Tuesday, May 26.

Cope said that Menlo Park and Atherton residents can enter their grocery store orders on the organization's website, and they will deliver from any local store. Groceries will be delivered within 48 hours — a notably speedy time, compared to some commercial services which have been taking several days due to high demand.

Zoomers to Boomers on the rise

Cope's local chapter of Zoomers to Boomers is just one part of a nationwide organization that has expanded quickly over the past two months.

Started in Santa Barbara in mid-March, Zoomers to Boomers has now spread to 26 cities, recruited over 300 volunteers, and made over 4,000 free grocery deliveries, according to the group's website.

Founder Danny Goldberg told Forbes that the inspiration came in part from his father, who is an ER doctor. "Almost every day, I saw my dad leave for work in the ER, and it inspired me to do more for my community," he said. "This led me to think about what I could do to help, and it was during this time that I realized that we had no systems in place to get the elderly food."

While Zoomers to Boomers has landed in Menlo Park and Atherton just this week, Cope said they have already begun getting orders. His team of volunteers from Menlo-Atherton High School includes head of operations Harrison Farrell, group leader Adam Todd, and team members Ian Duszynski, Rowen Barnes, Ben Witeck and Dylan Malloy.

Like Goldberg, Cope said that he was inspired by others who were making a difference in a time of crisis. "I really didn't want to be passive in my community," he said. "I would so much rather be an active member because I know that I have the power to be helpful and make an effective difference to those who need assistance."

Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by the Almanac, Mountain View Voice and Palo Alto Online here.

Comments

Trish Bubenik
another community
on Jun 3, 2020 at 7:24 pm
Trish Bubenik, another community
on Jun 3, 2020 at 7:24 pm
6 people like this

As a former public school teacher, principal and superintendent, I applaud this young man's integrity and initiative to not only start this service for Boomers, but also to do this for free!!!! You inspire me, fill me with hope for our future, and eagerly call for our youth to lead our country forward. I would love to follow your educational experience and choice of career. I hope your meaningful example will encourage other youth to follow your example to support and improve our American society. Bravo!!!! THANK YOU!!!!


Trish Bubenik
another community
on Jun 3, 2020 at 7:25 pm
Trish Bubenik, another community
on Jun 3, 2020 at 7:25 pm
Like this comment

In Palo Alto....


Mislabeled
Atherton: other
on Jun 4, 2020 at 2:41 am
Mislabeled, Atherton: other
on Jun 4, 2020 at 2:41 am
4 people like this

Most boomers aren't even retirement age, hardly elderly.


Voice of Reason
Menlo Park: other
on Jun 4, 2020 at 1:17 pm
Voice of Reason, Menlo Park: other
on Jun 4, 2020 at 1:17 pm
3 people like this

"Mislabeled," I'm sure writing your post fed some sort of need, so hopefully you're feeling better. However, before you write something negative next time you should just do a quick search on the age range of the Baby Boomer generation. It's from 56-76.

I would imagine this project targets the upper range in age, or those with immune system compromises of any age. If that still inspires you to write another snarky comment, then good luck to you.


Frank
Atherton: other
on Jun 4, 2020 at 6:23 pm
Frank, Atherton: other
on Jun 4, 2020 at 6:23 pm
2 people like this

I don't think anyone born after 1946 considers themselves elderly. Maybe before 1940. Boomers are mostly vibrant people, not elderly.


Menlo Park
Menlo Park: other
on Jun 4, 2020 at 8:10 pm
Menlo Park , Menlo Park: other
on Jun 4, 2020 at 8:10 pm
3 people like this

"Frank" and "Mislabeled" I think you both are missing the point. This is a nice group of kids trying to do something good. The name of their project is catchy and fun. It's not meant to offend anyone. Way to go kids! Keep up the good work serving people in need, whatever their age!


FrankHater27
Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Jun 4, 2020 at 8:11 pm
FrankHater27, Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Jun 4, 2020 at 8:11 pm
2 people like this

Ok Frank, way to miss the point.


Frank
Atherton: other
on Jun 4, 2020 at 9:57 pm
Frank, Atherton: other
on Jun 4, 2020 at 9:57 pm
2 people like this

Not missing the point. The kids are doing a great thing and the name of the project is fine. But as a Boomer, I object to bring called elderly which I think was used by the writer, not the kids. I think it's an outdated term that had no use in today's society. Elderly has connotations of canes and wheelchairs while most seniors today are vibrant and active.


Protesting in place
Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jun 5, 2020 at 12:59 pm
Protesting in place, Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jun 5, 2020 at 12:59 pm
Like this comment

In general, "booomer" has become a pejorative, as in "ok boomer." And characterizing a whole group of people in their 50s and 60s as elderly is wrong.

I'm sure that 55-years-old seems ancient to a teen, but since the kids are well-meaning, perhaps they are open to enlightenment on that topic.


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