Approximately 54 million people (1 in 6 people) may experience food insecurity in 2020, including 18 million children (1 in 4 children), according to a recent study from Feeding America.
With the ongoing COVID-19 crisis impacting individuals’ health, employment and food security, the urgency for services that can support the basic needs of families in Dallas has never been more critical.
The North Texas Food Bank announced Tuesday that two of its partners have teamed up with Amazon, who will donate delivery services of shelf-stable groceries to residents disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
As part of a partnership with North Texas Food Bank, Amazon is leveraging its transportation network of Amazon Flex drivers to make contactless, doorstep deliveries. Amazon Flex delivery drivers collect pre-packaged meals from two partners, Crossroads Community Service and Sharing Life, who together provide food to a large portion of the North Texas Food Bank’s 13-county service area.
The collaboration kicked-off initial deliveries last month and Amazon has delivered more than 7,000 pounds of food serving more than 6,000 meals to communities in the greater north Texas region. Amazon's collaboration with the North Texas Food Bank is part of its ongoing commitment to deliver millions of meals across the U.S. to under-served and vulnerable populations.
“Our community is facing food insecurity at a level that the food bank has never seen,” said Trisha Cunningham, President and CEO of North Texas Food Bank. “We are very grateful for Amazon’s partnership as it allows us to deliver food directly to local families and seniors who are unable to travel to pick up food that they need to survive. This new innovative delivery program helps us meet the needs of our fellow North Texans, during a period where our organization is stepping up to serve more individuals than ever before.”
In the greater Dallas area, North Texas Food Bank is working with Crossroads Community Services and Sharing Life to get nutritious and shelf-stable groceries to their clients who are unable to visit their in-house pantries due to the Coronavirus. Many of these clients reside in neighborhoods with significant mobility and transportation issues, making it difficult for the people facing such challenges to access critical resources, including food and groceries.
• Crossroads Community Services very much appreciates this unique support from Amazon, which allows Crossroads to focus limited resources on ensuring that persons who can make it to their drive-thru ‘pantry,’ receive a nice variety of fruits, vegetables, proteins, grains, and dairy to prepare wholesome and tasty meals. Pre-COVID-19, the pantry served 3,179 individuals in February; in April 17,077 individuals were served and fortunately in May ‘only’ 12,865.
• Sharing Life’s Nourish2Flourish program in partnership with the Blocking Hunger Foundation provides school-aged children with a weeks’ worth of breakfast, lunch and snacks when school is out of session to replace those meals normally received during the school day. Amazon Flex drivers assist by delivering these backpacks directly to the families’ doorsteps, most of which are not accessible by the region’s public transportation system.
“Our team is so grateful to Amazon for their innovative support, said Jay Cole, Executive Director for Crossroads Community Services. “With transportation being a barrier for many people in our community, this service goes a long way towards ensuring these neighbors have the foods that they need to thrive. Thank you Amazon and NTFB.”
Sharing Life, which helps serve the eastern sector of the North Texas Food Bank service area has seen a more than 200% increase in demand since mid-March.
“The need for food assistance in our region has been overwhelming,” said Teresa Jackson, Executive Director for Sharing Life. “Our team is committed to ensuring that our local kids continue to have access to the foods that they need and we are immensely grateful to Amazon for literally bringing this food to their doorstep. Most of our families live in areas without access to public transportation, so without Amazon, we truly could not reach many of these students. Thanks to this support, local kids won’t have to worry about what they will eat today.”
"Our transmission went out on our vehicle before the Pandemic started. We've had a hard time getting help with food,” said Jessica Pena, a Sharing Life client. “Having food delivered by Amazon for my kids was such a blessing. I loved seeing the smiles on their faces. God bless y'all."
For both organizations, Amazon’s support is their first foray into formal, direct-to-client home deliveries.
"Communities around the country have been struggling to adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many cities, including towns right here in Texas have a need for home deliveries of food assistance making this service critical," said Eric Arnold, site leader of Amazon’s Coppell fulfillment center. "We’re proud to continue helping Texans in the Dallas region get through this challenging period and build on our relationship with North Texas Food Bank to help even more families and children throughout the summer.”
Last month, the North Texas Food Bank also received a $100,000 donation from Amazon to help with increased food community needs. The donation will supply 300,000 healthy nutritious meals to residents who have been negatively impacted by the pandemic. North Texas Food Bank distributes nearly 60,000 family meal boxes a week and Amazon’s donation will serve up nearly five weeks’ worth of food.
For more information on North Texas Food Bank, its COVID-19 resources and to request assistance, call the hotline at: 1-855-719-7627 or visit: ntfb.org/foodassistance.