What’s even more helpful to vulnerable populations than introducing senior shopping hours? Not having these people go into stores at all.

A new collaboration between Walmart and neighborhood-focused social media app Nextdoor is helping neighbors shop for each other — limiting the number of people heading to the store and promoting social distancing.

How does the “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” program work? How would a neighbor use Nextdoor to get Walmart groceries?

 

The Help Map on Nextdoor shows neighbors who want to help with groceries, check-ins, and more.

If you don’t have a Nextdoor account, you can sign up for the neighborhood social media portal for free. Then, log in via Nextdoor.com or the iOS or Android app.

In the main navigation on Nextdoor.com or by clicking the “More” tab in the app, you’ll be able to access the Help Map, which shows a map of your area. The dots around the map indicate neighbors who are offering their free assistance with things like grocery shopping, dog walking, and general check-ins. The map also shows nearby Walmart stores for reference.

 

 

If you want to help, either post to the Help Map or join a Shopping Help for Neighbors Group.

When you visit the Help Map, a box appears that asks, “How can you help?” Click “offer help,” click “continue” after reading the safety guidelines, and then post how you can help.

Another way to tell your neighbors you’re available is to join your local “Shopping Help for Neighbors” group in Next Door. Click the “Groups” tab in Nextdoor to see the group at the top of the listings. Upon joining the group, you can post your availability for shopping help.

 

RELATED: 8 Ways to Help Your Community During the Coronavirus Outbreak

 

Neighbors who need help can coordinate grocery runs via Nextdoor.

If you’re someone who could use help picking up groceries, here’s what you do:

  1. Use the Help Map, or find someone in one of the “Shopping Help” groups who has volunteered to do grocery runs. Neighbors in need may also post their needs in the “Shopping Help” group.
  2. Coordinate with the neighbor to find out their availability to do a grocery run.
  3. Either place a grocery order yourself on Walmart.com, or give your shopping list to the helpful neighbor (as well as payment arrangements).
  4. Arrange for a contact-free drop-off with the helpful neighbor.
  5. Pay them back — Nextdoor suggests contactless, hygienic forms of payment such as PayPal, Venmo, or Cash App.

 

The number of neighbors joining groups to help each other on Nextdoor has surged.

Thanks to the “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” program, Nextdoor has seen a 7x increase in the number of people joining groups to help one another over the last several weeks.

Although Walmart is the sponsoring partner, the program works with any number of stores or retailers for essential services.

 

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Walmart & Nextdoor Team Up to Help Neighbors Shop for Each Other