September 23, 2020 United Way Worldwide today announced its one hundred thousandth delivery of food boxes and household supplies to vulnerable populations throughout 175 U.S. communities through the Ride United Last-Mile Delivery initiative. This milestone delivery also represents one million meals being delivered to those who are in need. The United Way Ride United Last-Mile home delivery program launched in April in response to the COVID-19 crisis to deliver food and supplies to vulnerable populations in communities across the U.S.
United Way’s partnership with DoorDash and generous funding from donors including The Rockefeller Foundation and Safeway Stores’ Nourishing Neighbors program enabled these delivery services from local food banks, food pantries, and other distribution points to older adults, low-income families, and those who can't leave home, providing meals to those in need. The most common client profiles are:
- Female, senior citizens, living alone
- High risk, immuno-compromised, populations that are vulnerable to contracting COVID-19, and must quarantine, yet who are food insecure and need access charitable food
- People who have lost jobs/wages, are without transportation or childcare and who need charitable food
“The last mile represents the final hurdle in getting food to people who have had to remain at home during COVID-19, either because of health considerations or lack of public transit or childcare,” said Suzanne McCormick, U.S. President, United Way Worldwide. “United Ways and the 211 network have convened local agencies, food banks and grocery partners to identify available food for people who can't travel and arrange for deliveries by DoorDash ‘Dashers’. We are grateful to the more than 80 local community partners that have been part of this incredible collaboration.”
The more than 175 communities served include:
- Los Angeles, CA
- Orange Country, CA
- San Diego, CA
- New Haven, Connecticut
- Fort Lauderdale, FL
- Central Florida
- Northeast Florida
- New Orleans, LA
- Central Maryland
- Minneapolis, MN
- Lincoln, NE
- New York City, NY
- Westchester and Putnam Counties, NY
- Akron, OH
- Eugene, OR
- Sioux Falls, SD
- Chattanooga, TN
- Houston, TX
- Salt Lake City, UT
- Seattle, WA
Last-Mile Delivery Program Highlights, as reported by 211 Operators, below:
Last-Mile Delivery Program Highlight: Akron, OH
“A client just called to say how much she appreciates the food boxes that have been dropped off at her home. She and her husband are both disabled and struggling to provide for their grandson. She says both the box of food and the delivery people, who always have a smiles on their faces, are true blessings. It means so much to her to be able to give her grandson some fruit juice when otherwise he would not be able have this treat. She just want to make sure we all knew how much our help means to them!”
Last-Mile Delivery Program Highlight: New Orleans, LA
“Ms. Williams has been displaced since Hurricane Katrina and moves from one family member’s home to another. She is currently staying with her nephew’s family and is thankful that the meal deliveries allow her to provide a little help to her hosts that are ensuring she has shelter during this time.”
Last-Mile Delivery Program Highlight: Chattanooga, TN
“If it were not for DoorDash, UW, and Hamilton County Schools, I would struggle to make ends meet with meals for my five children. Not having transportation makes it impossible to get to the food sites, but thankfully, with this service, I am able to take care of my children.”.
Last-Mile Delivery Program Highlight: Seattle, WA
Teri received our boxes with an almost empty cupboard. With the groceries delivery from DoorDash, Teri’s cupboard became almost completely full. With the added food, she was excited to invite her daughter over for a meal—something she’d been avoiding doing since she didn’t have food to share.
Those interested in supporting Ride United or learning more can visit UnitedWay.org/RideUnited. Those who need help finding available local resources, including food, can call 211 or visit 211.org for more information.
About United Way
United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. Supported by 2.9 million volunteers, 8.1 million donors worldwide and $4.8 billion raised, United Way is the world's largest privately funded nonprofit. We're engaged in nearly 1,800 communities across more than 40 countries and territories worldwide to create sustainable solutions to the challenges facing our communities. United Way partners include global, national and local businesses, nonprofits, government, civic and faith-based organizations, along with educators, labor leaders, health providers, senior citizens, students and more. For more information about United Way, please visit UnitedWay.org. Follow us on Twitter: @UnitedWay and #LiveUnited.
211 is a vital service leveraged by millions of people across North America. Every day, clients contact 211 to access free and confidential crisis and emergency counseling, disaster assistance, food, health care and insurance assistance, stable housing and utilities payment assistance, employment services, veteran services and childcare and family services. Last year, 211 responded to over 12 million requests for assistance across the United States. The service is available to over 95% of the U.S. population, including in Puerto Rico and Washington, DC, and is also available in most of Canada. Individuals in need or who are looking for information for someone else can call 211 from a cell phone or landline or visit www.211.org for more contact options.