A new grocery delivery service that relies on Good Samaritans to get essentials to medical professionals on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19 has been set up by a Toronto resident.

Matthew Lombardi designed the ’GroceryHero” website following a conversation with a doctor friend who expressed frustration that they could not sign up for grocery delivery with most of those services dealing with an unprecedented surge in demand.

The service that was born out of that conversation, Grocery Hero, launched at noon today. It will match up medical professionals with Good Samaritans in their neighbourhoods who are willing to pick up their grocery orders for them.

The medical professional will pay the cost of the groceries but will not have to pay any fees associated with the delivery.

“A close friend of mine who lives in the neighbourhoods is a doctor and is working very long shifts these days and he was just telling me that he could not find any grocery delivery services that were available on his schedule so I said I would be happy to do that small thing to help and then anecdotally I learned that there were tonnes of doctors and nurses in the same situation,” Lombardi told CP24 on Sunday morning. “I just thought that that there would lots of Good Samaritans who might also want to help out.”

Lombardi said that Grocery Hero will only be available to Toronto residents for now but he said that he is hopeful that it could be expanded nationally if there is interest.

He said that it serves a real need with medical professionals both overworked and reticent to visit grocery stores and risk exposing others to COVID-19 in the event that they contract it through their work.

“It is really filling an important need and providing volunteers who want to help out a targeted and meaningful way to do so,” he said.