Here comes the new African American Home Grocery Delivery Box!
This blog post was written by Olivia Schwartz, United Way AmeriCorps Food Security Collaborator VISTA.
United Way of King County’s Home Grocery Delivery Program partners with DoorDash, King County food banks, and Cascadia Produce to provide deliveries of free grocery boxes to nearly 4,000 families in King County each week. These boxes allow people who would not have access to food banks, due to unreliable transportation and limited time, to access healthy foods. According to a survey sent to the program’s recipients in 2023, about 72% of the respondents identify as Black, Indigenous, or other people of color.
While food is a basic necessity, it is also a powerful symbol of culture, family, and tradition. The Home Grocery Delivery Program strives to provide households with foods that are not only nutritious but also culturally appropriate. Knowing that there is no singular box of groceries to suit every family, the Home Grocery Delivery team has partnered with several community-based organizations to design grocery boxes tailored to the diverse demographics served by the program. Recently, United Way partnered with The Silent Task Force to create a menu of items preferred by African American program participants.
The Silent Task Force, a black, women-led organization in the Skyway neighborhood, is “working to increase access to healthy, culturally relevant, and affordable food for residents at all income levels.” United Way and partner organization Cascadia Produce consulted LaTanya Horace Dubois, co-executive director of The Silent Task Force, to source a box of foods commonly requested by African American community members.
The African American box option became available to participants of the Home Grocery Delivery Program in July of 2023. Since then, the program has distributed over 1,375 boxes of this type, with households able to select it as their default choice or opt for it on a week-by-week basis.
The contents of the box change based on what is available, but typically contain foods that are used in staple household dishes, such as cornmeal, black-eyed peas, collard greens, and red potatoes. One recipient of the program said, “You have made a big difference in our lives, by getting these boxes. There have been times we literally had nothing, and then your box came!”