Courtesy of Lisa Fotios

Upper St. Clair High School sophomore Vidhur Senthil received a mini-grant to help with food distribution during the coronavirus pandemic.

An Upper St. Clair High School sophomore is the recipient of a grant through which he plans to assist people who are at higher risk of COVID-19 infection in maintaining their supplies of groceries.

Vidhur Senthil

Vidhur Senthil

The Community Foundation of Upper St. Clair awarded Vidhur Senthil a $250 emergency mini-grant as part of a program to address challenges faced by residents during the coronavirus pandemic.

Vidhur’s project calls for volunteers to deliver groceries to township residents who tend to be more susceptible to the disease, including senior citizens.

“I’ve seen this happen in areas that are much more affected, like in New York and California, where college students volunteered to go and get groceries for the elderly,” he said. “I looked more into it and saw that it’s being really beneficial for not just keeping the elderly safe, but stopping people from going to supermarkets unnecessarily.”

He plans to use part of the grant money to purchase gift cards for volunteers who make multiple deliveries as a way of helping to offset their transportation costs, as recipients will not be charged extra for the service, while expressing gratitude.

“In order to make sure that this helps our volunteers, we must make sure that we treat them well and thank them for their help,” Vidhur wrote in his grant application.

He is recruiting volunteers through his school’s social media and email distribution, and is contacting various organizations in the township to track down people who can use the service.

“Once I find a match volunteer, I will ask for a list of items that needs to be bought and I will send this to the volunteer,” the grant application states. “I will connect both the volunteer and the person in need of help and they can discuss other details like time of delivery over the phone.”

Vidhur wants to give his community-minded classmates a way to help others during a time when their usual activities have been curtailed substantially.

“When we have the chance to do it, why not?” he said.

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Multimedia Reporter

Staff writer Harry Funk, a professional journalist for three-plus decades, has been on the staff of The Almanac since 2015. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and master of business administration, both from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

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