Oct 5, 2022 - News

Colorado food banks partner with DoorDash to reach people in need

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Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Food banks in Colorado and beyond are increasingly relying on donated services from companies like DoorDash to reach people who can't or won't make the trek to pick up groceries.

Why it matters: Since the beginning of the COVID outbreak, food insecurity in Denver has spiked above the pre-pandemic rate of 11% to about 33% of the city's population.

Driving the news: DoorDash last week announced a partnership with Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and 17 other mayors that will provide funding for delivery and logistical expertise to help get donated food to people in need.

  • Instacart announced a pilot program with the Partnership for a Healthier America that will provide needy families nationwide with a restricted stipend to buy nutritious food, along with a free Instacart membership and waived delivery fees.
  • The announcements were part of the White House's Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health — the first since 1969, during the Nixon administration.

How it works: DoorDash pays its dashers for the deliveries. Some food banks subsidize costs, but the company largely foots the bill.

  • Most of the deliveries are made to low-income and underserved communities deemed to be in food deserts, or areas that lack access to fresh and affordable food.

Zoom in: Pikes Peak United Way in Colorado Springs partnered with DoorDash in April to launch Ride United Last Mile Delivery, which serves vulnerable populations, including seniors and people with medical issues.

  • "We can better reach members of our community who need support and help alleviate the stress that many food pantries are currently experiencing at the same time," Cindy Aubrey, Pikes Peak United Way CEO, told the Colorado Springs Business Journal.

The big picture: Lack of reliable transportation was a pre-pandemic problem for people experiencing food scarcity, and COVID increased that, Minerva Delgado of the Alliance to End Hunger told Axios.

  • Food banks find it difficult to reach homebound seniors, parents of young children and those who must isolate due to illness.

What they're saying: "They're tapping into a need that many times was going unmet or they weren't meeting the need in a way that provides the end user with the convenience and dignity that they have with home delivery," Delgado told Axios.


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