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Food recovery platform adapts to meet quarantine needs

Tech nonprofit Food Rescue Hero is applying its 10,000-strong network of volunteer drivers to supply emergency food to people within the US relying on the coronavirus pandemic. Here, CEO and Co-Founder Leah Lizarondo gives an overview of the organisation’s relief contributions.

Food recovery platform adapts to meet quarantine needs

As the COVID-19 crisis increases the risk of food insecurity, the requirement for social isolation can be which makes it more difficult for vulnerable people to reach food assistance. Hearteningly, we’re seeing an boost in the number of people looking to volunteer within their communities. The challenge is to harness this swell of engagement safely and effectively. My organisation, Food Rescue Hero, has been capable to adapt our extensive food recovery network to do that.

Door-to-door food aid

Food Rescue Hero is definitely an international tech nonprofit located in Pittsburgh as well as serves Cleveland, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Northern Virginia, Los Angeles, and soon, Vancouver. Over earlier times five years, we’ve used our eponymous app to build the planet’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 The network was originally made to prevent food waste by delivering surplus from grocery stores and restaurants to nonprofits that serve people experiencing food insecurity.

food delivery

Now how the pandemic has isolated many of our most vulnerable community members, we’re testing a whole new programme to supply no-contact home deliveries. Volunteers bring donations directly to households short of funds, all while following CDC guidelines to make sure 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 intend 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 finished, the protocol and features will probably be rolled out in all of the cities that the Food Rescue Hero app serves, which has a goal release a nationally sometime this season.

A model produced for emergencies

We’ve been capable of respond nimbly for this crisis because our network is structured to adapt to emergencies. Focusing on the initial logistical challenges of retail food recovery, we make use of a platform similar to the people of ride-sharing companies to coordinate a sizable, distributed network of volunteer drivers. In traditional styles of retail food donation, regularly scheduled delivery trucks move food from donors to food pantries; if your truck in time breaks down, many of the pantries that be determined by it won’t get their delivery for that day. With the Food Rescue Hero network, however, a back-up driver is just a push notification away. 

Because driving food requires no congregation or groups, this is actually the perfect opportunity for people to serve others safely over these times.

Because in the platform’s flexibility, our service level stands at 99 percent, missing merely one percent of accessible rescues. Over yesteryear 5yrs, our volunteers have finished a lot more than 90,000 rescues and delivered over 12 million meals to folks who need them. And right now, the best way to than ever before are in need.

Thinking beyond your food shelf

delivering food to shop

One particularly vulnerable group we’ve identified is school children in the free and reduced lunch programme in your home base of Pittsburgh. Like many more nationally, the Pittsburgh public school district answered school closures by quickly making take-home meals available on-site to students in these programmes. For many, however, this relief is not accessible because in the distance from their homes to grab sites – some children would need to walk an hour or so to acquire lunch. To make certain that these kids don’t fall from the cracks, we’ve been attempting to bring meals to the one spot we understand kids could possibly get to each and 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 made by local restaurants, giving a good start for the local economy. The effort, made in collaboration with local organisations and community members (along with support from actor and Pittsburgh area native Michael Keaton), would be a pilot run. Now that we have proof-of-concept, we’ll advocate for your model in school districts round the country.

People helping people

Amidst the uncertainty and fear on this time, our organisation has seen, not only a dip, but a surge in new volunteers. Nationwide in March, more than 1,500 new volunteers downloaded the app, which reflects a 300 percent boost in new volunteer sign-ups in comparison to a normal month. We’ve also seen a spike in requests using their company cities to generate our app open to assist with the swell of volunteers who want to make certain that seniors have food. 

Over earlier times five-years, our volunteers have finished a lot more than 90,000 rescues and delivered more than 12 million meals to people who need them.

Because driving food requires no congregation or groups, this is the perfect chance for people to serve others safely of these times. While maintaining physical distance, folks are finding new ways to add up.

We always envisioned Food Rescue Hero being a movement. The network is coordinated by technology, but it’s powered by communities – with the goodwill of ordinary individuals who want to make the world more livable for people. In the face area on this pandemic, there’s a sense of helplessness. But there’s still a great deal we could do for every other. Our platform gives people a secure approach to help their neighbours.

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