United Way of Greater McHenry County is excited to announce the launch of the Ride United: Last Mile Delivery (RULMD) program, in partnership with DoorDash. RUMLD provides a “last mile” home delivery program that brings food and essential supplies to under-invested neighborhoods to help address hunger and other complex community challenges. People who need deliveries include seniors, people with health issues, neighbors who live in food deserts, as well as others who may be dealing with the economic impact of COVID-19.
Utilizing Dashers, delivery couriers for DoorDash, RULMD provides a safe and reliable way to get food to households in need and relieve stress and lines at food pantries. In 2021 alone, DoorDash has provided over 480,000 free deliveries and, based on the program’s success, has committed an additional 1.5 million free deliveries to United Way and the 211 network in 2022.
“We are thrilled to be able to utilize Dashers to provide this wonderful service in McHenry County,” said United Way of Greater McHenry County CEO Jamie Maravich. “Everyone who needs food and essential items should be able to obtain them with as few barriers as possible. Providing free deliveries to anyone in need has the potential to transform the way our neighbors get help.”
In 2020, Ride United — Last Mile Delivery’s umbrella program that previously provided only transportation access in the form of rides — expanded to include deliveries of food and essential items in response to the then-new pandemic, forming the Last Mile Delivery program. Local 211 and United Way teams work with community partners to help redefine how people facing transportation access receive needed services. Local teams and partners work collaboratively to match-make donated food and essential items to neighbors in need. Since April 2020, Last Mile Delivery has provided more than 691,000 free deliveries including 8.8 million meals, supporting over 37,000 households in need of food and essential items.
In anticipation of the RUMLD launch, United Way formed a partnership with Kids in Need of McHenry County (KIN) to be the first organization to test and kick off the program in the community. KIN identifies and provides kids in need the important resources necessary for a happy and healthy childhood. Together, United Way, KIN, the Northern Illinois Food Bank and DoorDash have been delivering meals since the middle of January.
“This collaborative partnership helps to ensure our students have food over the weekends as well as on breaks from school,” said KIN Executive Director Michelle Prickett. “The United Way is providing the home delivery of the bags of food utilizing their DoorDash grant which not only provides food stability for children in need, but a discrete way for the student to receive the food.”
For more information about Ride United, please visit: www.unitedway.org/rideunited.