Oct 6, 2022 - News

Richmond food banks getting help from DoorDash

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Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Richmond is one of 18 cities in the country partnering with DoorDash to help deliver food to folks in need who can't make the trek to a food bank or to pick up groceries.

Why it matters: Food insecurity has spiked since the beginning of the pandemic, and inflation only made it more challenging for some families to buy groceries.

  • Visits to Richmond food pantries jumped by 10-15% at the start of this year, Feed More, the umbrella organization that collects and distributes food across Central Virginia, told Axios in August.

How it works: DoorDash pays its dashers for the deliveries. Some food banks subsidize costs, but the company largely foots the bill, Axios' Margaret Harding McGill reports.

  • 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.
  • DoorDash is also donating $1 million in gift cards to food banks in the 18 cities so the organizations can buy what they need.

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: "As someone who has experienced food insecurity first hand, I'm thrilled to announce Richmond has partnered with @DoorDash on this critical initiative to address food access in our country," Mayor Levar Stoney tweeted last week.

Go deeper on Stoney's history with food insecurity.


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