The following program(s) are available to Non-Profit Corporations in Prince George's County:
For many of us, we don’t think twice about running to the grocery store to pick up a few staples, or wandering around a chain super store planning and purchasing our holiday groceries. But for some elderly and disabled Prince George’s County residents, a simple task like going to the grocery store is not possible. Enter Top Banana Home Delivered Groceries, a grocery shopping, home delivery non-profit organization for the elderly and disabled. Their mission was to make sure people who can't easily get out to the store can get the groceries and household items they need. This crucial service enabled frail, elderly and disabled clients maintain their health, dignity and independence. Basic needs include, but are not limited to: inside grocery delivery to the client’s kitchen, putting the groceries away, labeling items for the blind and some small chores.
The Prince George’s County Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) provided funding for this organization through a federally-funded community development block grant to assist them with their mission. “Many of our non-profits in Prince George’s County provide invaluable services,” says Eric C. Brown, DHCD Director. “And, Top Banana helped our elderly age in place and assists disabled residents with their independence.” he Prince George’s County Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) provided funding for this organization through a federally-funded community development block grant to assist them with their mission. “Many of our non-profits in Prince George’s County provide invaluable services,” says Eric C. Brown, DHCD Director. “And, Top Banana helped our elderly age in place and assists disabled residents with their independence.”
Jean Guiffre founded Top Banana 33 years ago after she realized her aging mother no longer had a favorite item in the kitchen – coffee. Suffering from congestive heart disease and arthritis, it had become extremely difficult for her Mom to get to the grocery store. Striving to maintain her independence, Jean’s mom didn’t ask for help.
When Jean (pictured left) noticed the missing favorites and staples from her Mom’s kitchen cabinets, the idea came to her that other aging residents and the disabled could be facing the same challenges. So, she started Top Banana.
Throughout its long history, Top Banana offered support like family, plus the dependability and choices of local supermarkets without restricting service based on age, diagnosis or income. Service was easily accessible and affordable yet provided extensive personal assistance with each order. Customers ordered by telephone unlike internet grocery services, and chose from thousands of top-quality products including, butcher-cut meats, fresh produce and household, personal and pet supplies. Some ordered every week; others just when the need arose.
Deliveries were available weekly. When needed, their friendly drivers unpacked and shelved the items, loosened jar lids, took out the trash, brought in the mail, did other small tasks and, of course, visited and checked on each client.
Products were always competitively priced. As a help to those on limited incomes, Top Banana used a sliding scale service charge, accepted Food Stamps and manufacturers’ coupons and regularly ran sales.
Top Banana employed drivers, order-takers, grocery shoppers and others as well as volunteers to fulfill orders and get them to their clients. Clients could go on-line or use a paper bound booklet to review grocery items, their prices and make their selection. Ordering was as easy as picking up the phone and placing the order with the order-taker. Top Banana took cash, check or credit card. Delivery fees ranged from $15 to $5. The fees were based on a sliding scale depending on the client’s income.
Top Banana served the District of Columbia, Prince George’s County, a large part of Montgomery County and northern Charles County.
Note: In the summer of 2015, Top Banana made the difficult decision to close its doors. The economic climate forced changes and narrowed options for suppliers and others the organization relied on behind the scenes, making continued operations unsustainable. This decision to close was made after many difficult hours deliberating with the Board of Directors. Top Banana informed its customers that final deliveries will be the week of Monday, September 28th through Friday, October 2nd. Top Banana hopes that Prince George’s County will identify another non- profit organization that can help fill the void from Top Banana’s closure.