Created as an emergency response to the healthcare and economic crisis of COVID-19, Delivering with Dignity has delivered nearly 40,000 individual meals directly to the doorsteps of those residents most in need, while also keeping dozens of restaurant staff employed since launching March 23.
The program relies upon partnerships with locally owned restaurants, leading nonprofit agencies, and private corporations to produce and deliver an average of 5,600 meals per week in the Las Vegas Valley. Each delivery can feed recipients for three days.
The heart and soul of Delivering with Dignity can be found in the program’s Food Heroes, who deliver meals while abiding by strict health and social distancing guidelines. With more than a hundred Food Hero volunteers currently, the program continues to grow and is asking members of the community looking to help to sign up to be a Food Hero. Deliveries occur Monday through Friday, from 12:30-2:30 p.m., and volunteers can sign up for one or as many days as they want. It could be a great option for those who have changed their summer plans and are staying in town or for local teachers who are heroes in the community during the school year. Individuals interested in volunteering can sign up online at uwsn.org/FoodHeroes.
Delivering with Dignity’s unique restaurant to doorstep delivery model, powered by groundbreaking food delivery logistics technology from Copia, recently expanded to serve the Northern Nevada communities of Reno and Sparks with the support of Nevada Lieutenant Governor Kate Marshall. Delivering with Dignity also recently partnered with the Hyundai-Aptiv Driving Joint Venture to utilize the project’s driverless vehicles in Las Vegas to deliver meals.
“As we adapt to a new normal that forces many of our most vulnerable residents to stay home to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Delivering with Dignity has become an innovative social services model for communities to feed those in need,” said Delivering with Dignity co-founder Punam Mathur.
The program is also aiding the economically devastated restaurant industry.
“Without Delivering with Dignity it would be almost impossible to keep our 25 employees on payroll” said Elizabeth Blau, Delivering with Dignity co-founder and owner/partner in Honey Salt and Buddy V’s at the Venetian. “The beauty of this program is that these are not emergency meals or cold sandwiches, these are balanced, nutritious meals prepared with tremendous heart from our culinary team and partner restaurants.”
Delivering with Dignity has worked with more than 30 nonprofit partners thus far to identify individual recipients who need the program based on “Triple Threat” criteria: 1) At highest risk for COVID-19 per CDC guidelines; 2) Ineligible or not served by any community organization for provision of food to their homes; 3) Financially unable to meet their food needs without leaving their home, and do not have a reliable support system of friends or family to assist.
Delivering with Dignity plans to continue deliveries and expand its capabilities to help those in need in Southern Nevada as long as the pandemic exists. Program leaders ask community members to support the effort through financial contributions and by becoming Food Hero volunteers. To learn more visit: www.DeliveringwithDignityLV.org.