BLOOMINGTON — Glacial wind chill temperatures are keeping more Twin City residents indoors, but local delivery and care services are making the weather more bearable.
To keep customers healthy and happy, several Bloomington-Normal pharmacies offer free, in-town delivery of prescriptions.
“We’ve seen an increase of 25 to 30 percent in delivery requests,” said Luke Stremlau, pharmacy manager at Merle Pharmacies, 203 E. Locust St. in Bloomington.
Stremlau said Merle offers free delivery of prescription drugs to homes in the Twin Cities Monday through Friday.
“We have mobility issues with our elderly clients. It’s also hard for parents with several children to pack everyone up and get out in the car,” said Stremlau. “It’s tough for anyone to go out in adverse weather.”
Axline Pharmacy, at 1210 Towanda Ave. in Bloomington, also offers free prescription delivery in Bloomington-Normal Monday through Friday.
Pharmacy manager Rob Bean said delivery orders are slightly higher than usual.
“We find that a lot of our customers have to use public transportation to get to the pharmacy,” said Bean. “We encourage people with little kids or the elderly to use our delivery service instead of taking sick kids outside or going out in frigid temperatures or on icy roads.”
Trips to the supermarket also can be removed from the errand list through grocery delivery services from some local grocers, including Schnucks and Hy-Vee.
Schnucks has partnered with Instacart, an on-demand grocery delivery service that expanded to Bloomington-Normal in July. Instacart, based in San Francisco, also offers delivery from Binny’s Beverage Depot, Petco and CVS.
“We saw a 95 percent increase in Bloomington-Normal orders, which we do think is due to the weather,” said Dacyl Armendariz, communication manager for Instacart.
To have groceries delivered, customers can visit www.schnucksdelivers.com or download the Instacart app. The delivery prices start at $5.99 for a single order.
Shoppers fill a virtual shopping cart and pay online. A local Instacart employee then visits the store, purchases the items through a prepaid debit card and delivers the items to the customer’s home.
“You can stay at home under a blanket on the couch while you do your grocery shopping, and one of our brave souls will be happy to go out in the cold to get your items and deliver them straight to your door. You can still make fresh food without leaving your home in inclement weather,” said Armendariz.
Stores like Walmart and Kroger also offer online ordering with curbside pickup.
Calls to Schnucks and Hy-Vee were not returned Wednesday.
The Home Care program through McLean County YWCA is another way for local residents to complete daily tasks without braving the cold.
“We can do any type of nonmedical assistance and personal care in homes,” said Christy Germanis, YWCA director of marketing and public relations. “We can do light cleaning, grocery shopping, run errands, take people to doctor's appointments or offer companionship care.”
Germanis said the YWCA hasn’t seen an increase in errand assistance due to the cold, but the program does have slots available for those looking for help.
Home Care services cost about $24 per hour and are offered to anyone over age 18.