DELMONT — At the Westmoreland Food Bank on Thursday, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and Second Lady Gisele Fetterman announced a new partnership with DoorDash to deliver healthy, nutritious meals to homebound seniors in need.
This initiative is part of Hunger Action Month and is designed to remove barriers and increase enrollment in the Pennsylvania Senior Food Box Program, which provides life-sustaining meal deliveries and nutrition services to eligible older Pennsylvanians.
“It’s high time that Pennsylvania’s food assistance programs offer services tailored to the unique needs of their recipients and actively work to remove barriers to access,” said Redding. “This partnership with DoorDash to deliver Senior Food Boxes is a commonsense solution that will make saying ‘yes’ to the box easy. Accepting assistance can be hard enough for some, wondering how to get the food home should never be an added worry.”
More than 300,000 Pennsylvania seniors are eligible for the Pennsylvania Senior Food Box Program, but only about 35,000 are enrolled to receive it this year. Seniors often face barriers to access food assistance programs because of various issues, such as transportation, mobility, or technology.
Hunger-Free Pennsylvania, Feeding Pennsylvania and their network of food banks are partnering with DoorDash where the routes of the food delivery company overlap with agencies involved in the food box program. Dashers then will deliver boxes to seniors in need. As with any DoorDash delivery, Dashers are compensated.
“Our seniors deserve fresh, nutritious food. Transportation should never be a barrier to life-sustaining nourishment,” Pennsylvania Second Lady Gisele Fetterman said.
In Pennsylvania, eligible participants for the Pennsylvania Senior Food Box Program include low-income individuals who are at least 60 years old and whose household income is at or below 130 percent of the U.S. poverty level. Seniors can fill out the self-certification form found on the Department of Agriculture’s website to be directed to the regional food bank distributing the senior food box in their county of residence.
“This partnership is another example of DoorDash helping to meet an ongoing need for underserved communities,” said Brittany Graunke, DoorDash Drive’s Director of Government and Nonprofit. “Leveraging our last-mile logistics platform, we are committed to promoting convenience and dignity while reducing barriers to accessing meals, groceries, and pantry items.”
This partnership with DoorDash is part of the company’s work through Project DASH, an initiative that connects food banks and food pantries with clients through last mile delivery. To date, Project DASH has made more than 900,000 deliveries of an estimated more than 15 million meals in more than 900 cities in the U.S. and Canada.
The program is already up and running in several communities across the commonwealth. More than 365 meals have been delivered as part of the launch.
Currently, 10 counties are being served by DoorDash as part of the innovative partnership. They include Bucks, Dauphin, Erie, Fayette, Luzerne, Montgomery, Philadelphia, Washington, Westmoreland and York. The program remains open to other counties as it continues to grow.
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