UH students launch free grocery delivery service to help their peers in quarantine

UH students launch free grocery delivery service to help their peers in quarantine
Since launching in mid-July, Bless UH Manoa has 40 volunteers and have delivered to nearly 30 students. (Source: Joshua Hu)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A group of University of Hawaii students recently launched a free grocery delivery service to help their out-of-state peers coming here for school this month.

“Bless UH Manoa” is a delivery service for UH students that need to quarantine after arriving in the islands. It’s staffed by volunteers, including 15 local churches and UH campus ministries.

UH Manoa student Joshua Hu said he got the idea for the service when he found out that the state extended the 14-day mandatory travel quarantine to Sept. 1.

Thousands of out-of-state students are expected to come in for UH classes scheduled to start Aug. 24.

The state has a modified quarantine program for UH students attending an Oahu or Kauai campus. Essentially, a student can attend university-related activities if they show a negative COVID-19 test but must otherwise stay indoors. Those who don’t test negative will have to quarantine for 14 days.

“There is so much uncertainty for college students who will be moving to Hawaii in the next few weeks,” Bless UH Manoa said on its website. “Where am I going to stay? How will I get food? What will I do while I quarantine, alone?”

The service is similar to grocery delivery apps like InstaCart. The big difference: There’s no delivery fee.

A UH student can request a delivery through an online form. After that, they will get matched with a volunteer who will shop for them and coordinate when the delivery will happen.

Initially, the volunteer pays for it and then the student will pay them back through Venmo.

Hu and his peers did their first delivery last week. So far, there are 40 volunteers and have delivered to nearly 30 students.

If you’re interested in volunteering, click here.

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