Adult female stands on a short stack of dollar bills. She is looking at a delivery man holding groceries in the distance who is standing on a much taller stack of dollar bills. Delivery, Accessibility, cost

Do Delivery Services Help Create an Accessible World?

I remember the first time I ever ordered groceries to be delivered to my house. As a kid, these services had been limited to pizza parties – so the idea of someone shopping and delivering for me was still a novel enterprise.

When my grocery bags arrived upon my steps, it felt as if Santa had visited and left a pile full of gifts. I didn’t have to drive to and from the store, or fall asleep while waiting to purchase my groceries, or end up being unable to do anything else the rest of the day due to the energy I expended.

The struggle between delivery services, disability, and government subsidies

I thought I’d never set foot in a grocery store again. Once given the option to spend a little extra cash on a delivery fee, instead of overexerting myself on errands and worsening my narcolepsy symptoms, it wasn’t a difficult choice.

However, when I lost my job due to my narcolepsy onset and then went on to lose my housing situation before I could get on disability, I suddenly had to rely on government subsidies to pay for groceries. In doing so I was no longer able to have groceries delivered to my house, because the services do not accept EBT credits.

At the time I felt lucky to have groceries at all. Over time I would find myself running out of steam for the week and end up having to go without food for a while until I could find the energy to get to the store. In these cases, I began relying on canned and frozen foods – which are not the healthiest.

I could not afford the delivery fees

Once I started receiving my monthly disability living stipend, after waiting over 2 years to be approved, I was able to stop using EBT credits to afford my food.

In doing so, I still did not have access to grocery delivery. I could not afford the extra delivery fees, and I had moved out so far into the Arizonan mountains after losing my housing that grocery delivery services were unavailable to me anyways.

Finding a balance between my budget and my body

Now that I am living in Portland, Oregon, I have access to these remarkable delivery services again. Except, at the same time, financially things are tight. Disability stipends aren’t exactly livable wages.

I wish I could afford to have my groceries delivered all of the time, but it just doesn’t happen. Maybe one day I will get to the point where I can fully transition to using these services, but most likely I will have to continue to find a balance between what my budget can take and what my body can.

In creating a new, more accessible world, I believe that delivery services could be wildly successful in doing just that... if they were widely available for those who need them the most.

Do you utilize delivery services? What other services help you on your narcolepsy journey?

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