The Bergen County Food Security Task Force has launched Project Dash, a partnership with DoorDash to deliver 100,000 hot meals to nonprofits across the county by the end of May, it was announced Tuesday.
The initiative was launched in March — and made possible by a $1 million grant awarded by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority to HealthBarn, the organization that helped create the Feed the Frontlines program.
The grant serves a dual purpose — to bring business back to the local restaurants that have been hurting throughout this pandemic; and to provide nutritious, hot meals to countless families across Bergen County who have been relying on food pantry items for weeks, or even months on end.
DoorDash has pledged to provide HealthBarn and Feed the Frontlines with a $6,500 grant. This provides earning opportunities for its drivers and continues to make these deliveries cost-free to recipients.
The current program primarily relies on volunteers from the surrounding community, who have come out in full force since the announcement of the program. Each recipient site requires a separate volunteer driver, with some requiring up to eight drivers to ensure all of the meals are delivered in a timely manner.
DoorDash’s commitment to this program will partially alleviate the burden on existing volunteers and will fill in the gaps when not enough volunteers are available.
Stacey Antine, the director of HealthBarn Foundation, is happy to have the help.
“There are a lot of moving parts to facilitate this program, especially in coordinating the delivery of the meals from our restaurants in Ridgewood to pantries and nonprofits across Bergen County,” she said. “DoorDash’s generous contribution to help supplement our volunteer force will assist us in making sure we can guarantee direct delivery to all recipients through the end of the program in May.”
Brittany Graunke, a director at DoorDash, said the company is eager to do its part.
“DoorDash is proud to partner with Ridgewood Feed the Frontlines, HealthBarn Foundation and the Bergen County Food Security Task Force to provide meals to food pantries through Project Dash,” she said. “Through partnerships like these, we aim to power 1 million deliveries this year as part of our two-year, 2 million delivery goal.”