This holiday season will be unlike any other. Family, festivity, and even food may be missing for many. The economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic is still affecting families. It is estimated that nearly 50 million people* will experience hunger or food insecurity this year. For some, this may be the first time they have needed assistance to put food on the table. Whether they’ve lost a job, aren’t as easily able to access free meals at school, or can’t rely on help from family and friends because of social distancing, there are so many people who are trying to solve for a problem in a way they hadn’t considered before. Since March, 211, the vital service that connects millions to social services, has received double the number of calls for help with food.
Fortunately, United Way and DoorDash partnered earlier this year to help people get access to the food they needed. To date, the Ride United Last Mile Delivery Program has provided upwards of 140,000 deliveries to 16,000 households in over 220 cities and towns. Today, we’re proud to announce that as the holidays and end of year approach, DoorDash has ramped up this effort to offer an additional 60,000 deliveries.
"DoorDash founded Project DASH to empower community organizations to leverage our logistics to increase access in their communities,” said Sueli Shaw, Head of Social Impact, DoorDash. “One of the most impactful ways we've been able to do this is by working with United Way to connect thousands of people across the country with resources they need, through our incredible Dasher community. We know there's still work to be done, so we're thrilled to continue our partnership with this new commitment."
This will mean another meal for Sheila, an elderly resident in Lakeland, FL who recently underwent surgery and is unable to get to the store on her own. Sheila is one of thousands of senior citizens, along with youth, BIPOC, people experiencing homelessness, refugees, people with chronic health issues, and so many others who are in need of food as the COVID-19 pandemic cases are spiking in communities across the country. Through the end of year, people may be eligible to receive a variety of “special deliveries” including:
- Prepared Thanksgiving Meal(s)
- Thanksgiving Specific Food Boxes/Bags (for clients to prepare own meals)
- Individual Frozen Turkeys, Chickens, and Hams
- Mental health kits
- Winter-appropriate clothing
- Gift cards
- Toys and holiday gifts
- Hygiene Supplies
While there are so many things that have changed this year, United Way’s commitment to community remains the same. We will continue working with national partners like DoorDash, and over 157 local partners to feed both body and soul this holiday season.
Get Help: If you or someone you know is in need, call 211 to get connected.
Give Help: If you would like to support the Last Mile Delivery Program, click here to donate.