One Extra Bag: House Calls

Short version: We're starting a new program called One Extra Bag: House Calls to help bring groceries to homebound older adults in Philadelphia, and we need YOUR help to do it! 


In March, all Penn medical students were sent home from their clinical rotations in order to help decrease spread of COVID-19. Because we were unable to continue helping directly, many of us wanted to find other ways to support both healthcare providers and our patients during this difficult time. 

One Extra Bag was initially created to deliver groceries to doctors in residency programs in the Penn Medicine health system. It has since been expanded to include the delivery of groceries and other necessities to homebound patients living in West Philadelphia. Some of these patients are chronically homebound, while others are newly homebound because they are COVID positive or medically complex and therefore at a higher risk for developing severe complications from COVID-19. However, contracting COVID-19 is not the only challenge these patients face; social isolation, especially during this pandemic, is also a major concern. Homebound patients often depend on visiting friends or caregivers for groceries and other support, and as those visits have declined, this community has become even more vulnerable. In addition, many of these patients live on very low or fixed incomes and have had a difficult time paying for groceries even before the pandemic.

One Extra Bag aims to reduce the significant food insecurity faced by many Philadelphians during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as to provide a way for homebound adults and their families to access groceries in a safe and socially-distanced way. We aim to catch patients who have fallen through the cracks of existing social safety nets and need support while they either recover from COVID-19 or transition to a longer-term food security program.

Here’s how our program works: through partnerships with Penn healthcare providers across multiple departments, vulnerable patients are identified and partnered with a Penn graduate student volunteer who does their grocery shopping every week. Thanks to your generous donations through GoFundMe, the program has been able to purchase groceries for any participants who are experiencing financial hardship and are unable to pay for food on their own.

We are currently feeding 56 people each week in 29 households. We have made more than 130  grocery deliveries to date. Through previous contributions we have been able to pay for groceries for all of the families that need financial support, with an average contribution to each family of $59.92 per week. Based on the demand we have seen this past week, we anticipate intaking 10 new households each week for the next two weeks. To cover the cost of this expansion, we will need to raise a total of $12,000. To ensure that we do not abandon patients with ongoing food insecurity, we are working with Penn social workers to identify long-term individualized plans for food security for all of our patients prior to transitioning them out of the program. 

Please note that in the event that we have any money remaining at the conclusion of this program, we plan to donate it to  charitable organizations directly addressing food insecurity in the Philadelphia area.

We are incredibly grateful for anything you can donate to this cause. We know that it will be a huge help for the older and homebound patients that we work with.

While we are students at the University of Pennsylvania, this program does not fall under the financial umbrella of the university and donations made to this GoFundMe campaign are not tax deductible.

Donations ()

  • Anna Farrell 
    • $50 
    • 5 d
  • Christina Bauers 
    • $30 
    • 6 d
  • Kirby Sokolow 
    • $20 
    • 6 d
  • Holly Cummings 
    • $100 
    • 13 d
  • Audrey Caspar-Clark 
    • $10 
    • 13 d
See all

Fundraising team: One Extra Bag (5)

One Extra Bag 
Organizer
Raised $1,638 from 8 donations
Philadelphia, PA
Erik Tan 
Team member
Raised $3,085 from 25 donations
Eden Engel-Rebitzer 
Team member
Raised $1,928 from 27 donations
Graham Lobel 
Team member
Raised $465 from 4 donations
Rebecca Greenblatt 
Team member
Raised $40 from 2 donations
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