Mill Creek Community Food Bank partners with DoorDash
Last updated 6/12/2022 at 11:45am
Many business models – with loosening COVID restrictions – are changing to accommodate those staying at home. Nonprofit food banks are no different, and Mill Creek Community Food Bank has found a way to serve those at home – with a modern twist.
When Jennifer Boyington, director of Hope Creek Charitable Foundation, saw another food bank partnering with DoorDash, she got inspired. So she reached out to DoorDash to begin a partnership to help those Mill Creek residents in need.
The program, launched in May, delivers food directly to people's homes. Its goal: To give customers more opportunities to get groceries.
"We've had a few of our customers that haven't been able to utilize the food bank for medical reasons, or other things like that," said Boyington. "They are the returning customers that are now utilizing this option."
The food bank is completing 150-200 DoorDash orders a week, Boyington said. Customers submit their food requests by Sunday evening, with three days of delivery options. Many use the latest option.
The respond has been exceptional.
"We are able to now expand to maybe almost half of our customers through DoorDash," said Boyington.
There is still one in-person shopping day. Some people want to choose their food themselves, which is understandable, Boyington said. The food bank spreads out delivery days and the in-person day to ensure all customers get freshly donated food.
For delivery orders, customers fill out a form marking the items they need, and food bank workers try their best to get everyone's list met. Darlene Whitney, production supervisor, said the program is a hit.
"A lady last night just said, 'I'm having surgery. I didn't know how I was going to get my food.' She was so overwhelmed with joy that this is going to be available for her."
The food bank adds small cards with local announcements with each DoorDash delivery.
"Our goal with it is to make sure that the same experience our customers would get in-person is also achieved through DoorDash," said Boyington, who added that DoorDash drivers are "great."
This new partnership not only helped the food bank's current customer base, but also grew it. Drivers find the program through delivering orders and start using it themselves.
"We've actually been giving our drivers the DoorDash sign-up sheet so that they can also use it," said Whitney.
The food bank depends on donations from people. It needs 75,000 pounds of donations a week to keep going, Boyington said.
In June, the program will be ramped up more. The staff worked to get the food bank and DoorDash's systems running smoothly together, and they're ready for it now, Whitney said.
"I know change is hard for people. So I just think it's really important to like try it and work with us for a little bit with it," said Whitney. "Just be positive about what we're trying to do for our community."