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Thanking Amazon for Two Years of Free Food Delivery to High-Risk Individuals, Throughout the Pandemic and Beyond

Thanking Amazon for Two Years of Free Food Delivery to High-Risk Individuals, Throughout the Pandemic and Beyond

April 2022 marks two years of this groundbreaking food delivery program

While 2020 and 2021 were difficult years for everyone, it was especially hard on older adults and people with underlying health concerns. Early in the pandemic, Amazon teamed up with the LA Regional Food Bank, offering to deliver food to high-risk individuals who were advised to stay home– donating time and free delivery services during a period of increased need. Now, two years later, the program has distributed roughly 275,000 food kits. That’s more than 5,000,000 pounds and translates to roughly 4,170,000 meals.

Amazon driver with LA Regional Food Bank Box

Food Pantries Versus Food Delivery

Food Banks have been around for decades now, and for most of that time, most of the food has been distributed through partner agency networks. Partner agencies are food pantries, soup kitchens, or other food relief organizations that receive food from their local Food Banks. Since Food Bank warehouses are large and have significant truck and forklift activity, they are generally not ideal for food distribution. In the case of the LA Regional Food Bank, partner agencies are spread throughout all of Los Angeles County, allowing food to be distributed to those in need on a local level.

However, food pantries and other food relief organizations most commonly distribute food at their location, so community members need to travel to these locations to get food assistance. During the COVID-19 pandemic, older adults and those with underlying health conditions were encouraged to stay home and avoid public settings, which made visiting a food pantry difficult.

Amazon, an expert at delivery, teamed up with the Food Bank in late March 2020 and offered to deliver our emergency food kits to people who needed to stay home. For the past two years, Delivery Service Partners and Flex drivers and other partners in Amazon’s global transportation network have been collecting the pre-packaged foods from our Food Bank and making free, ‘no-contact’ deliveries directly to the doorsteps of vulnerable groups in our community. This way, food can reach high-risk individuals and families who need food assistance without requiring them to leave the safety of their homes. This partnership has helped us scale our food distribution operations in the wider LA region and works well because our goals align with Amazon’s commitment to fighting hunger and giving back to the communities in which its employees live, work, and play.

“Amazon is thankful to have built long-standing partnerships with organizations like the LA Regional Food Bank, whom we can support in addressing food insecurity,” said Bettina Stix, Amazon’s director of Global Product and Volunteering. “Over the past two years, we’re humbled by the impact and reach of this partnership to connect with families across the region, and look forward to continuing our work with LA Regional Food Bank to expand access to nutritious meals.”

Since March 2020, Amazon has supported food banks and community organizations with free, contactless delivery of groceries and pre-packaged meals directly to the doorsteps of vulnerable groups. Powered by the thousands of Amazon delivery drivers across programs such as Delivery Service Partners and Flex, we’ve delivered more than 20 million meals to underserved families, vulnerable seniors, and schoolchildren around the world.

A Successful Partnership: Amazon and the LA Regional Food Bank

This program has continued into 2022 and has proven to be a very effective distribution model. The LA Regional Food Bank is working to expand this program and add it to the list of official Food Bank distribution programs alongside the Mobile Food Pantry, partner agency distributions, and many more.

As the program turns two years old, the Food Bank is grateful to Amazon for providing hundreds of thousands of our neighbors with much-needed food assistance and pioneering such a valuable program. The Food Bank is also thankful for the Amazon team members who have come in to donate their time packing food for later distribution.

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