1,384 food deliveries from May to Sept of 2020

(Canton, Oh) Sept 30, 2020 Ride United Last-Mile Delivery, in partnership with DoorDash, brings food and supplies to vulnerable populations. This program supports delivery of food boxes and household supplies to vulnerable populations throughout Greater Stark County.

Last week marked the delivery of one million meals to those in need throughout the United States via Ride United Last-Mile. This program launched in April in response to the COVID-19 crisis to deliver food and supplies to vulnerable populations in communities across the U.S.

United Way Worldwide’s partnership with DoorDash and generous funding from donors including The Rockefeller Foundation and Safeway Stores’ Nourishing Neighbors program enabled delivery services of food boxes from local food banks, food pantries, and other distribution points to older adults, low-income families, and those who can’t leave home, providing meals to those in need. The most common client profiles are:

  • Female, senior citizens, living alone
  • High risk, immuno-compromised, populations that are vulnerable to contracting COVID-19, and must quarantine, yet who are food insecure and need access to charitable food
  • People who have lost jobs/wages, are without transportation or childcare and who need charitable food

“The last mile represents the final hurdle in getting food to people who must remain at home due to COVID-19 and who experience food insecurity,” said Connie Allton, Director of Community Resources and Support for United Way of Greater Stark County. “United Ways and the 211 network have convened local agencies, food banks and grocery partners to identify available food for people who can’t travel and arrange for deliveries by DoorDash ‘Dashers’. Solving problems takes partnership, and by working together we can ensure sustainability and get everyone the support they need in this difficult time.”

Since May, DoorDash deliveries to Stark County residents have increased by 196%. (May 164, Sept 486). One of those residents, Kevin, called 2-1-1. “That was a really rough time,” Kevin Greer said. “Living on the 6th floor of my building, it was like a prison cell. [I] was stuck. Even getting the mail is a nightmare.” Alone and running out of food, he called United Way’s 2-1-1 Helpline. Read Kevin’s story at uwstark.org/success-stories

Thousands of people in Stark and Carroll Counties use 2-1-1 every year; so far this year, 13,969 contacts. Live, highly trained professionals at the 2-1-1 Help Center review options for clients, develop a plan with them and act as advocates when community members are faced with barriers.

From January until now, the top 5 requested services through 2-1-1 (in Carroll, Harrison, Jefferson, Stark, and Tuscarawas) were food pantries, assistance with rent, electric and gas payments and tax preparation.

Residents who need assistance finding food, paying housing bills, or other essential services, can call 2-1-1 anytime, 24/7/365 for referrals. They can also search 211stark.org for resources or text their zip code to 898-211 for referrals to services.

Learn more: unitedway.org/rideunited and uwstark.org/2-1-1

About 2-1-1

2-1-1 is free, accessible 24/7/365 and completely confidential. The service refers individuals and families to local community social service agencies who specialize in the needs for the following services, such as: rent, food, utilities, taxes, transportation, low cost medical, prescriptions, financial tips, predatory lending, job search and skills, senior programming and more. 2-1-1 maintains a referral, resource database of services available in the community at 211stark.org. Individuals and agencies can access the database to receive information about available services like employment and income support, mental health and counseling, municipal services, substance abuse assistance and more.

About United Way of Greater Stark County
United Way of Greater Stark County fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. We win by living United. By forging unlikely partnerships. By finding new solutions to old problems. By mobilizing the best resources. And by inspiring individuals to join the fight against their community’s most daunting social crisis. Our mission is to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of our communities in Greater Stark County. In order to live better, we must live United. For more information about United Way of Greater Stark County visit www.uwstark.org. Offices are at 401 Market Avenue North, Suite 300, Canton, Ohio 44702. (330) 491-0445.