Axios Login

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September 28, 2022

Hello from Seattle, where I am making a really quick work trip. I can't say just what I am up to, but I'll be back home tonight.

🍎 Situational awareness: Apple has backtracked on plans to ramp up production of new iPhone models after demand fell below the company’s expectations, Bloomberg reports.

Today's newsletter is 1,265 words, a 5-minute read.

1 big thing: Food banks turn to DoorDash, Amazon

Illustration of a stoplight with the green light in the shape of a hamburger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As the White House launches an historic summit to combat food inequality on Wednesday, some tech companies are already taking steps to provide home delivery services for people who need food, Axios' Margaret Harding McGill reports.

The big picture: Food banks have increasingly relied on donated services from DoorDash and Amazon as the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted how many people in the U.S. don't have enough to eat, a problem that has persisted even as the pandemic wanes.

  • In 2021, 10% of U.S. households experienced food insecurity, according to a USDA report.

Driving the news: The White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health is the first such event since the Nixon administration, with a goal of ending food insecurity in the U.S. in eight years.

  • As part of the conference, DoorDash announced a partnership with 18 mayors to provide them with data on food access needs, direct funding for delivery and the company's logistics to help local delivery of charitable food through its Project DASH program.
  • Instacart announced a pilot program with the Partnership for a Healthier America that will provide families in need with a restricted stipend to buy nutritious food, along with a free Instacart membership and waived delivery fees.

What's happening: DoorDash's Project DASH provides local delivery services to food banks to reach people in need.

  • The program has grown from making 6,000 deliveries in 14 states and D.C. in 2018 to more than 1.5 million deliveries so far this year in 49 states and D.C.
  • Amazon launched its Community Delivery program — donating the transportation and logistical support to food banks — in 2020. It's available in 20 states and D.C., and is on track to deliver 315,000 boxes of food this year.

What they're saying: "COVID was a reawakening of how much local delivery can really have an impact within nonprofits," Brittany Graunke, DoorDash Drive director, told Axios.

Zoom in: The Food Bank of Delaware says the home delivery service has become a vital distribution method, and it's shifting its model from mass distribution sites to more home deliveries.

  • Deliveries jumped from about 4,300 in fiscal year 2021 to 41,000 in fiscal year 2022, Food Bank of Delaware CEO Cathy Kanefsky told Axios. She doesn't expect the demand to abate.
  • "We've had people say they've had to just choose, do they want to put gas in their car or food on their table?" Kanefsky told Axios. "That decision is a huge one for people."

Likewise, Hunger Free Pennsylvania is making about 6,000 deliveries a month to seniors via DoorDash, and said about 25% of its program is delivery now. It's expected to grow to 30% or 40%.

  • "The seniors just love it," Sheila Christopher, executive director of Hunger Free Pennsylvania told Axios.

Zoom out: A lack of reliable transportation was an issue pre-pandemic for people experiencing food scarcity, but the pandemic increased the challenges, Minerva Delgado, director of coalitions and advocacy for the Alliance to End Hunger told Axios.

  • Food providers find it difficult to reach seniors who are homebound, parents of young children, or those who must isolate due to illness unless they provide delivery.
  • "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.

Between the lines: While gig economy businesses like DoorDash say they grow local economies and empower workers with flexible opportunities, these companies have also been criticized for paying low wages or even promoting worker inequality.

The intrigue: The explosion of interest in home delivery has raised questions about how long the services can be free.

  • DoorDash pays its dashers for the deliveries, and while some food banks can cover subsidize costs, the company largely foots the bill.
  • DoorDash intends to expand into new communities, but Graunke noted that it is looking at how it can partner with organizations to bring the service to more people because it's "unrealistic for DoorDash to go it alone."

What's next: Food advocacy organizations are gearing up for next year's farm bill, and hoping policy makers will ease regulations to make home delivery services more feasible.

2. Meta disables 2 disinfo networks

Facebook parent Meta announced on Tuesday that it had taken down two sprawling networks using fake social media accounts engaged in covert influence campaigns being run from China and Russia, Axios' Ivana Saric reports.

Why it matters: The Russian network was the "largest and most complex" of its kind that Meta has discovered since the start of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the Chinese network was the first to target U.S. politics ahead of the midterms, according to a Meta press release.

The big picture: Meta said the two separate networks had violated the company's policy against Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior (CIB).

  • The Chinese network, while small, operated across several social media platforms — including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter — and primarily targeted the U.S. and Czech Republic.
  • Posts targeting the Czech Republic focused on criticizing the government's "support of Ukraine, its impact on the Czech economy, and calling for the government to avoid antagonizing China," Meta noted in an accompanying CIB report.

The larger Russian-originated network primarily targeted Germany, France, Italy, Ukraine and the U.K., focusing on Russia's war in Ukraine.

  • The network was comprised of more than 60 websites masquerading as legitimate European news platforms, such the Guardian, Der Spiegel and Bild.
  • Across more than 1,600 Facebook and Instagram accounts, the network promoted stories that echoed Kremlin propaganda, criticizing western sanctions on Russia as well as Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees.
  • Meta began investigating the matter following reporting by investigative journalists in Germany.
  • "This is the largest and most complex Russian-origin operation that we’ve disrupted since the beginning of the war in Ukraine," the report stated.

3. Quick takes: Apple's latest moves

Apple's Stage Manager for iPad initially supported multi-monitor support, though that has been postponed.

Stage Manager for iPad initially supported multi-monitor support, though that has been postponed. Image: Apple

1. Apple has made some changes to the upcoming Stage Manager multitasking interface for iPad. It will allow the feature to work on some older iPads that it didn't initially plan to support, but is postponing support for multiple monitors.

  • Our thought bubble: The move shows that Apple is listening to customers, who had complained about the limits on Stage Manager and pointed out glitches with multi-monitor support.

2. Russian app developer VK says that Apple pulled its social networking service VKontakte and other mobile apps, as The Verge reported.

  • The big picture: Russia has blocked access to many Western social networks amid its invasion of Ukraine, while sanctions and international pressure have led many U.S. and multinational companies to pull out of Russia.

4. Take note

On Tap

  • Amazon is having an online event this morning to announce new devices.
  • The GSMA and CTIA wireless trade groups are teaming up for MWC Las Vegas, which takes place today through Friday.

Errata

  • In yesterday's Login I referred to the NBA app as a joint venture of the league and Warner Sports. It's actually a partnership between the NBA and Turner Sports (which is a unit of Warner Bros. Discovery).

Trading Places

  • Alex Mashinsky said Tuesday he will step down as the CEO of crypto firm Celsius, which is in the midst of bankruptcy proceedings.
  • Brett Harrison is also stepping down as president of FTX's U.S. arm.
  • Aya Ibrahim has joined the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy as a senior adviser.

ICYMI

  • Lyft says it has frozen hiring in the U.S. for the remainder of 2022. (NY Post)
  • Ukraine's military intelligence agency warned Monday that Russia could soon ramp up its cyberattacks against both Ukraine and its allies. (Axios)

5. After you Login

An aerial view of downtown Seattle

Photo: Ina Fried/Axios

Downtown Seattle looked extra pretty as I flew in yesterday.

Thanks to Scott Rosenberg and Peter Allen Clark for editing and Bryan McBournie for copy editing this newsletter.