Food deliveries are packed by the food bank and delivered by Amazon Flex drivers.
Amazon is donating delivery services of shelf-stable groceries and pre-packaged foods for 6 million meals to those most affected by COVID-19. The online retailer is partnering with local food banks in 25 cities and using its robust network of Amazon Flex drivers, who use their own vehicles to traditionally deliver the company's packages, to reach this goal.
Amazon has already delivered meals in Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, Orlando, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C., and it has now partnered with the Houston Food Bank to bring this service to senior citizens in Texas.
"For so many of our senior citizens, the pandemic is especially troubling, as they have health concerns, limited mobility and need assistance for such regular tasks as grocery shopping," said Brian Greene, president and CEO of Houston Food Bank. "Because this population needs help, we wanted to add direct food deliveries for them, and we are so thankful to Amazon for stepping up to make this happen for our beloved senior citizens."
All food deliveries are made without contact to the doorstep. In the first two days of pilot deliveries in Houston, Amazon delivered more than 3,000 pounds of food serving more than 2,000 meals — and it provided the food bank with a $50,000 COVID-19 response grant to help support operational needs and food supplies.
In April 2020, Amazon revealed its goal of 6 million meals delivered, and has been making progress since then.
At the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank, the Amazon partnership means additional ways to reach some of the 14,000 people visiting the food bank's online tool, "The Food Locator," in March, compared with 1,500 visits during the same period last year.
"We've also had to figure out how to do things that we once had volunteer support for. Many of our volunteers are seniors or in other vulnerable groups, and COVID-19 has forced many of them indoors," said Barbara Abbot, VP of supply chain at San Francisco-Marin Food Bank. "This means that many of the people we relied on to help us get food out to the community are no longer able to help."
Amazon’s food bank partners are responsible for providing, preparing and packaging all shelf-stable foods, while Amazon Flex delivery partners collect the pre-packaged foods from food banks and make contactless deliveries.