For Michelle, a single mother of twins with autism, heading out to the grocery store or to the Food Bank of Delaware to pick up a food box can be challenging.
Thanks to a new program, though, Michelle gets her Food Bank boxes delivered right to her door courtesy of Door Dash – the same service that lets people order food from restaurants with a few clicks in an app.
“I feel that the Food Bank and Door Dash program together is outstanding, treating each family with compassion and respect each day,” Michelle wrote in a letter that was shared by Food Bank officials.
Last week, Michelle, whose last name wasn’t made public, received the ceremonial 1 millionth Project Dash delivery nationwide – a box that was packed at the Food Bank’s Glasgow warehouse by First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney and then delivered by a Door Dash driver.
The free Project Dash service, which partners with 900 food banks and other charities around the country, began in 2018 and picked up steam during the pandemic.
The Food Bank of Delaware got involved in June and has completed 500 deliveries using the service.
“This partnership is critical because we know so many of our neighbors in need can't get to us,” said Cathy Kanefsky, president and CEO of the Food Bank of Delaware. “They're homebound, they lack transportation, they have unreliable transportation, or they can't afford to get gas to put in their car to have the transportation they knew yesterday. The pandemic has really brought to light so many of our folks that have just fallen through the cracks.”
People in need can order a food box at fbd.org/home-delivery, and the delivery will be assigned to a Door Dash driver just like if someone ordered from a restaurant.
Brittany Graunke, of Door Dash, said the deliveries look just like a normal Door Dash delivery, which can reduce the stigma of receiving charitable food.
“Something kind of unique and special about this is it's providing the convenience of delivery to people who often don't have that luxury or that convenience,” Graunke said.
The service is limited to people who live within a 15-mile radius of the Food Bank warehouse in Pencader Corporate Center or a food pantry in Wilmington. However, Food Bank spokeswoman Kim Turner said the organization plans to add additional distribution centers to eventually cover the entire state.
DoorDash covers all of the costs for the program and delivery. It also provided funding for personnel costs for the Food Bank to cover a portion of the salary for the staff member that manages the program, Turner said.
The Food Bank has a similar delivery partnership with Amazon.