// Naomi ✨🍃

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// Naomi ✨🍃

Food recovery platform adapts to fulfill quarantine needs

Tech nonprofit Food Rescue Hero is utilizing its 10,000-strong network of volunteer drivers to provide emergency food to people within the US impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Here, CEO and Co-Founder Leah Lizarondo gives a review of the organisation’s relief contributions.

Food recovery platform adapts in order to meet quarantine needs

As the COVID-19 crisis enhances the risk of food insecurity, the necessity for social isolation can be making it harder for vulnerable website visitors to reach food assistance. Hearteningly, we’re seeing an rise in the volume of people looking to volunteer inside their communities. The challenge would be to harness this swell of engagement safely and effectively. My organisation, Food Rescue Hero, may be capable of adapt our extensive food recovery network to complete that.

Door-to-door food aid

Food Rescue Hero is definitely an international tech nonprofit situated in Pittsburgh and in addition serves Cleveland, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Northern Virginia, Los Angeles, and very soon, Vancouver. Over yesteryear 5 years, we’ve used our eponymous app to build the globe’s largest network of volunteer food delivery drivers – 10,000 strong and growing. The network was originally made to prevent food waste by delivering surplus from supermarkets and restaurants to nonprofits that serve people experiencing food insecurity.

food delivery

Now how the pandemic has isolated a number of our most vulnerable community members, we’re testing a brand new programme to deliver no-contact home deliveries. Volunteers bring donations right to households in need of assistance, all while following CDC guidelines to be sure everyone’s safety. An initial pilot run of the door-to-door programme delivered emergency food to 175 households in Pennsylvania’s Allegheny and Beaver Counties in late March, and we’re now while using the information we gathered to gradually expand the intend to thousands more homes.

We’re undertaking this project in partnership with nonprofits including food banks, food pantries and senior agencies. Once the pilot period in Greater Pittsburgh is done, the protocol and features is going to be rolled out in all cities that this Food Rescue Hero app serves, which has a goal to discharge nationally sometime this coming year.

A model built for emergencies

We’ve been able to respond nimbly for this crisis because our network is structured to adapt to emergencies. Focusing on the logistical challenges of retail food recovery, we use a platform similar to those of ride-sharing companies to coordinate a big, distributed network of volunteer drivers. In traditional styles of retail food donation, regularly scheduled delivery trucks move food from donors to food pantries; in case a truck reduces, lots of the pantries that depend upon it won’t manage to get thier delivery with the day. With the Food Rescue Hero network, however, a back-up driver is simply a push notification away. 

Because driving food requires no congregation or groups, this can be a perfect potential for people to serve others safely of these times.

Because from the platform’s flexibility, our service level stands at 99 percent, missing only one percent of obtainable rescues. Over the past five years, our volunteers have completely finished greater than 90,000 rescues and delivered greater than 12 million meals to people who need them. And at this time, lots more people than previously are in need of assistance.

Thinking outside of the food shelf

delivering food to shop

One particularly vulnerable group we’ve identified is young children in the free and reduced lunch programme in your home base of Pittsburgh. Like many more nationally, the Pittsburgh public school district taken care of immediately school closures by quickly making take-home meals available on-site to students of these programmes. For many, however, this relief is just not accessible because of the distance off their homes to get sites – some children would need to walk 1 hour to obtain lunch. To ensure that these kids don’t fall over the cracks, we’ve been working to bring meals on the one spot we realize kids could get to every single 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 an enhancement towards the local economy. The effort, manufactured in collaboration with other local organisations and community members (with support from actor and Pittsburgh area native Michael Keaton), was obviously a pilot run. Now that we now have proof-of-concept, we’ll advocate for that model at school districts across the country.

People helping people

Amidst the uncertainty and fear on this time, our organisation has seen, not a dip, but a blast at the in new volunteers. Nationwide in March, over 1,500 new volunteers downloaded the app, which reflects a 300 percent rise in new volunteer sign-ups in comparison to an average month. We’ve also seen a spike in requests using their company cities to create our app offered to assist with the swell of volunteers who want to make sure that seniors have food. 

Over days gone by 5 years, our volunteers have finished over 90,000 rescues and delivered greater than 12 million meals to the people who need them.

Because driving food requires no congregation or groups, here is the perfect chance for website visitors to serve others safely in these times. While maintaining physical distance, everyone is finding new ways to come together.

We always envisioned Food Rescue Hero as a movement. The network is coordinated by technology, but it’s powered by communities – with the goodwill of ordinary those who want to generate the globe a tad bit more livable for people. In the eye on this pandemic, there’s a feeling of helplessness. But there’s still so much we can do for every other. Our platform gives people a good approach to help their neighbours.

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