El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank is helping thousands with food in tough times, and now is seeking community support to fund free deliveries for the homebound in partnership with the Lyft ridesharing service.
The food bank is already providing food to some 4,000 people every weekday who spend hours waiting in their cars for a trunk-load of supplies because they don’t have any at home.
Two abreast, the car lines outside the food bank at 9541 Plaza Circle are regularly two and three miles long, said the food bank’s CEO Susan Goodell.
Providing food there and at the pantries around El Paso is a monumental task that’s repeated daily by volunteers, constables and even the National Guard.
Now, Goodell has enlisted Lyft to help.
Max Loosen, regional director for Lyft Texas, provided a statement saying they’re committed to providing those deliveries free.
“Lyft will be supporting drivers by creating new opportunities to help them earn additional income through the Lyft app and continuously working to protect their safety,” Loosen said.
Goodell said the LyftUp delivery program is for people who can’t leave home.
“This is week three. The first week it was unadvertised, and we did 275 deliveries,” she said. “The second week we did 474 and now, the third week, we’re delivering 800 home deliveries of emergency food.
“We’ve got 110 on our waiting list – and it’s growing.”
While the volunteers and deliveries are free, bringing in vast amounts of food isn’t.
“I’m taking money out of our general operations to do this,” she said. “We’re hemorrhaging money on this, and we just can’t go above 800 deliveries a day without financial support.
“We need to find financial help to support the first 800 deliveries for the people who are calling and begging that they have no food in the house and no ability to get food,” she said. “We need more funding to make this project possible.”
The food bank’s website at ElPasoansFightingHunger.org offers different ways to donate or to ask for help with food.
“We’re hoping for help funding this new critical initiative,” she said. “We are able to provide a week’s worth of groceries for $16.75, which includes all the food and the delivery costs.”
Email El Paso Inc. reporter David Crowder at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (915) 587-6622 - home office and 630-6622.