ೃ࿐ ࿔♡ ( ; @𝔽𝕒𝕤𝕙𝕚𝕠𝕟𝕩𝕠𝟙𝟘𝟙 )
ೃ࿐ ࿔♡ ( ; @𝔽𝕒𝕤𝕙𝕚𝕠𝕟𝕩𝕠𝟙𝟘𝟙 )
Food recovery platform adapts in order to meet quarantine needs
Tech nonprofit Food Rescue Hero is employing its 10,000-strong network of volunteer drivers to supply emergency food to those within the US suffering from the coronavirus pandemic. Here, CEO and Co-Founder Leah Lizarondo gives an overview of the organisation’s relief contributions.
As the COVID-19 crisis increases the chance of food insecurity, the need for social isolation is additionally making it more difficult for vulnerable people to reach food assistance. Hearteningly, we’re seeing an boost in the volume of people seeking to volunteer in their communities. The challenge is to harness this swell of engagement safely and effectively. My organisation, Food Rescue Hero, has been in a position to adapt our extensive food recovery network to do exactly that.
Door-to-door food aid
Food Rescue Hero is an international tech nonprofit operating out of Pittsburgh and also serves Cleveland, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Northern Virginia, Los Angeles, and soon, Vancouver. Over earlier times 5yrs, we’ve used our eponymous app to develop the world’s largest network of volunteer food delivery drivers – 10,000 strong and growing. The network was originally built to prevent food waste by delivering surplus from supermarkets and restaurants to nonprofits that serve people experiencing food insecurity.
Now that the pandemic has isolated a number of most vulnerable community members, we’re testing a brand new programme to provide no-contact home deliveries. Volunteers bring donations straight to households in need of assistance, all while following CDC guidelines to make certain everyone’s safety. An initial pilot run with this door-to-door programme delivered emergency food to 175 households in Pennsylvania’s Allegheny and Beaver Counties in late March, and we’re now with all the information we gathered to gradually expand the want to thousands more homes.
We’re undertaking this project in partnership with nonprofits for example food banks, food pantries and senior agencies. Once the pilot period in Greater Pittsburgh is completed, the protocol and features will likely be rolled out in every cities that the Food Rescue Hero app serves, which has a goal to release nationally sometime this coming year.
A model developed for emergencies
We’ve been capable to respond nimbly to the current crisis because our network is structured to adapt to emergencies. Focusing on the logistical challenges of retail food recovery, we work with a platform similar to prospects of ride-sharing companies to coordinate a big, distributed network of volunteer drivers. In traditional kinds of retail food donation, regularly scheduled delivery trucks move food from donors to food pantries; if the truck in time breaks down, most of the pantries that rely on it won’t obtain delivery to the day. With the Food Rescue Hero network, however, a back-up driver is only a push notification away.
Because driving food requires no congregation or groups, this is actually the perfect potential for individuals to serve others safely during these times.
Because of the platform’s flexibility, our service level stands at 99 percent, missing only 1 percent of available rescues. Over days gone by five-years, our volunteers have finished over 90,000 rescues and delivered over 12 million meals to individuals who require them. And right now, more people than ever before are in need of assistance.
Thinking outside of the food shelf
One particularly vulnerable group we’ve identified is young children inside the free and reduced lunch programme within our home base of Pittsburgh. Like a great many others nationally, the Pittsburgh public school district replied to school closures by quickly making take-home meals available on-site to students of these programmes. For many, however, this relief just isn't accessible because from the distance from their homes to post sites – some children must walk 1 hour to acquire lunch. To be sure that these kids don’t fall with the cracks, we’ve been working to bring meals for the one spot we understand kids will get to every day: their school bus stop.
On 27 March 2020, Food Rescue Hero distributed 500 meals to bus stops in food insecure and unwalkable neighbourhoods. The meals were prepared by local restaurants, giving a good start towards the local economy. The effort, made in collaboration to local organisations and community members (with support from actor and Pittsburgh area native Michael Keaton), was a pilot run. Now that we now have proof-of-concept, we’ll advocate to the model at school districts around the country.
People helping people
Amidst the uncertainty and fear with this time, our organisation has seen, not a dip, but an outburst in new volunteers. Nationwide in March, greater than 1,500 new volunteers downloaded the app, which reflects a 300 percent boost in new volunteer sign-ups in comparison to the average month. We’ve also seen a spike in requests using their company cities to create our app accessible to assistance with the swell of volunteers who want to make sure that seniors have food.
Over days gone by five years, our volunteers have completed greater than 90,000 rescues and delivered a lot more than 12 million meals to folks who require them.
Because driving food requires no congregation or groups, this is actually the perfect opportunity for individuals to serve others safely in these times. While maintaining physical distance, everyone is finding new approaches to come together.
We always envisioned Food Rescue Hero as being a movement. The network is coordinated by technology, but it’s powered by communities – by the goodwill of ordinary individuals who want to produce the globe a tad bit more livable for people. In the facial skin with this pandemic, there’s a feeling of helplessness. But there’s still much we can do per other. Our platform gives people a good strategy to help their neighbours.