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United Way of Central Florida Announces over 600 Last-Mile Deliveries Completed in Polk County

Ride United Last-Mile Delivery, launched in April, in partnership with DoorDash, brings food and supplies to vulnerable populations. 

United Way of Central Florida today announced its 600th delivery of food boxes and household supplies to vulnerable populations throughout Polk County through the Ride United Last-Mile Delivery initiative. 

This milestone delivery also marks the delivery of one million meals to those in need throughout the country. The United Way Ride United Last-Mile home delivery program was 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’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 Christina Criser Jackson, President and CEO of UWCF. “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 sustainably takes partnership, and by working together we can make sure every person gets the support they need in this difficult time.” 

Working with local community partners and with DoorDash, United Way of Central Florida can facilitate the delivery of essential items to clients. Items such as, food boxes, prepared meals, toiletry and hygiene items, school supplies, and holiday items.

Clients receive the items free of charge from the local partner and do not pay delivery charges. Requirements for local partners are to have items available free for the client, have clients within a 10-mile radius of pick-up location, and provide client lists/data with pick-up and drop-off information.

United Way of Central Florida is currently seeking partners that need assistance with the delivery of holiday items. Contact Amber Qureshi, at Amber.Qureshi@uwcf.org for more information on how to participate. 

Those interested in supporting Ride United or learning more can visit UnitedWay.org/RideUnited. Those who need help finding available local resources, including food, can call 211 or visit 211.org for more information.

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