Program Allows People Seeking Food Assistance to Order Online and Select a Pickup Time and Location
Over the past year, as layoffs and business closures interrupted the incomes of millions of people in America, many individuals and families faced a difficult realization—they were not able to afford food for themselves or their families. In an effort to help reach more people facing hunger, Feeding America, the nationwide network of 200 food banks, has launched an online grocery ordering system, OrderAhead.
OrderAhead expands access to charitable food through a discreet and convenient click-and-collect grocery ordering system that reduces the physical and social barriers encountered by neighbors facing food insecurity. The program enables individuals facing hunger to order food from a Feeding America network food bank or partner organization and pick it up at convenient community locations like schools, drive-thru distributions, and libraries. In some markets, home deliveries may also be an option.
“Having access to nutritious food is paramount in helping people live better. When someone has a difficult time accessing food, it’s important we help connect the dots,” said Maryann Byrdak, chief information officer at Feeding America. “OrderAhead is a tool that not only helps connect people to food assistance but does it in an efficient, convenient, and private way.”
Feeding America initiated a pilot of the program back in October 2020. To date, 11 food banks and 18 distribution sites have provided food to over four thousand households, reaching nearly 15,000 people. Altogether, over 219,000 pounds of food have been distributed through more than 9,000 orders. Over the next year, Feeding America plans to expand the OrderAhead program to an additional 20 food banks.
Oftentimes, transportation, stigma, and time are reported as barriers that prevent individuals from seeking help. For people who are uncomfortable seeking food assistance, the platform offers a more private and discreet experience.
Support for OrderAhead is provided by The Humana Foundation and the Walmart Foundation.
More information can be found at: https://www.orderahead.org/.
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About Feeding America
Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of more than 200 food banks, 21 statewide food bank associations, and over 60,000 partner agencies, food pantries and meal programs, we helped provide 5.2 billion meals to tens of millions of people in need last year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; brings attention to the social and systemic barriers that contribute to food insecurity in our nation; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.