Celebrating 100,000 Food Deliveries in Partnership with Project DASH
This week, United Way of King County celebrated 100,000 deliveries of food as we combat food insecurity across the region in partnership with DoorDash and its social impact initiative, Project DASH.
Project DASH utilizes DoorDash’s fulfillment platform, DoorDash Drive, to enable United Way and other nonprofits to reach and serve clients through last-mile delivery—or getting the product to clients in that last leg of the journey.
This 100,000-delivery milestone was made possible by thousands of DoorDash delivery drivers, known as Dashers, as well as volunteers and AmeriCorps members.
The program is one of United Way’s valuable assets to combat food insecurity in our region, which has increased significantly during the pandemic.
Over 4,100 households in King County have received 2.5 million pounds of pantry items and groceries through this program, ensuring that thousands of people per week have access to culturally appropriate and nutritious food. More than 70% of those served are people of color, who have been disproportionally affected by the pandemic.
The success of this program is also made possible by the hard work of more than 20 community organizations and was celebrated at an event featuring Lauren McGowan, United Way King of County’s senior director for ending homelessness and poverty; Brianna Thomas, chief of staff to Seattle’s City Council President; Dan Lancaster, food bank director at Federal Way Multi-Service Center; Hannah Gauntz, United Way food access AmeriCorps member; and Ryan Dooley, a Dasher.
“I grew up on public assistance, which included using food stamps and making trips to the food bank. My family was proud to work hard but for many, there is that dignity issue. What I think is great about Project DASH is it’s delivered like a typical DoorDash order,” said Brianna Thomas. “Your neighbors may or may not know what’s in that box, they may or may not know what your situation is, and you’re just like everyone else in the community.”
Since the pandemic began, getting pantry items and groceries to people throughout King County has been a challenge. The Multi-Service Center in Federal Way was able to scale up from four home deliveries a month to over 400 a week thanks to Project DASH.
“We’ve always tried to serve with respect and dignity but the DoorDash program allows us to do that at one of the highest levels we’ve seen,” Dan Lancaster said. “We not only need to continue this program but we need to grow this program. We need to go beyond COVID to feed hungry people in a manner that suits them and their families.”
DoorDash launched Project DASH nationwide in 2018 and, since then, it has grown from a few deliveries a week to over 400,000 deliveries of items, including food, mental health kits, diapers and school supplies in 2020 alone.
“Covid has not only impacted our communities but the world. And during a time where life was hard, I was glad to make it just a little easier for families with Project DASH. We’ve had so much to worry about. How your next meal was getting to you shouldn’t be one,” said Jalisa McGowan, a Dasher.
Even as the pandemic begins to recede, the need for reliable, nutritious food available to individuals and families who are food insecure will still remain in King County. To celebrate the 100,000 deliveries, which is the highest in the nation, and to further combat food insecurity, DoorDash is donating $20,000 in DoorDash gift cards through its Community Credits program to United Way of King County.
To learn more or sign up for free weekly home delivery of groceries, please click here.