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HERO CENTRAL: Top Banana Delivers Groceries To The Home

4:19 PM, Jan 29, 2013   |    comments
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HYATTSVILLE, Md. (WUSA) -- "Somebody made a report one time,  I'll be sitting in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. That was four years ago. No way, Jose!"

Katherine Yowell lifts hand weights to keep herself fit,  although she can't get to the grocery store as easily. The nearly 80-year-old lady is recovering from surgery. 

So Top Banana delivers groceries from their storehouse to her. The non-profit organization steps in to make sure people with mobility issues will not have to miss out on basic necessities.

"You call them and say 'I need milk and eggs and bread'...It's a very easy organization to be connected with."

Yowell orders her items from the Top Banana Storehouse Shopping Guide, a regularly updated booklet filled with grocery items and their prices.

Jean Guiffre founded Top Banana 31 years ago, after she realized her aging mother no longer had a favorite item in the kitchen - coffee. 

"I really, really can't tell you how much I love it. It is my mission in life," said Guiffre, Executive Director. She explains the name 'Top Banana' refers to the best act in the show during Vaudeville days.

At Yowell's  house Roy Kiser brings the groceries and puts them away in the kitchen.  Kiser volunteers as a driving specialist, becauase he is a retired man looking to help people while getting a chance to interact with people. Guiffre says there is a thorough background check for driving specialists who make multiple deliveries in one day.

Yowell pays Kiser for the groceries with a check. There is a service charge of $15. But, about one third of the clients pay a reduced service charge of $5, according to Guiffre.

"This is about independence and dignity and helping people stay in their homes for as long as it's safe."

Top Banana serves the District, Prince George's County, a large part of Montgomery County and northern Charles County.

Top Banana gets its groceries from a wholesaler in Pennsylvania.
To order food, the number for Top Banana is 301 372 FOOD.

NOTE: Gannett Foundation has provided a grant to Top Banana.

Produced/Written by: Elizabeth Jia
WUSA 9 & WUSA9.com