Organizations Mobilize Food Delivery Task Force, Distributing Over 100,000 Pounds of Food to Combat Food Insecurity During the COVID-19 Crisis
September 22, 2020 – Redwood City, CA – Wider Circle, an innovative community care program model working with health plans and partners to connect neighbors for better health, and Helping Hands Community (Helping Hands), a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving those most vulnerable to COVID-19, today announced that they have delivered over 100,000 pounds of food to California residents through their Community Food Circle partnership.
The initiative, launched in April 2020, brings food and medical supplies to underserved populations including older adults and those with pre-existing health conditions, many of whom are also experiencing food insecurity. To date, the Community Food Circle initiative has delivered groceries and much-needed supplies to 50,000 people across California, with the goal of scaling its activities nationwide.
As part of this first-of-its-kind partnership, Wider Circle identifies members in-need, while Helping Hands offers the technology and infrastructure to facilitate efficient, scalable, and contactless delivery to recipients. Thus far, the partners have worked with organizations like Optum, Philabundance, Second Harvest, and Brand New Day, the Medicare Advantage prescription drug plan, to support their members during this challenging time.
Overcoming Pandemic Obstacles with an Innovative Partnership that Scales
Launched by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, Wider Circle serves more than 135 communities nationwide, by supporting national and local health plan efforts to foster social connection and increase member engagement. Amid the pandemic, Wider Circle has recently faced new obstacles in getting food into the hands of the most vulnerable and turned to Helping Hands for its innovative technology platform.
“During this public health crisis, there is a crucial need for a systematic approach to getting food to our most vulnerable Americans. The resources are available; what we lack is the means to connect the supply to those who need it,” said Darin Buxbaum, president and chief operating officer of Wider Circle. “At Wider Circle, we have built an infrastructure that enables us to identify and reach out to at-risk individuals and ascertain their needs. Now, thanks to our partnership with Helping Hands Community, we are in an even stronger position to efficiently provide them with access to food and medical supplies during this unsettling time.”
Bringing Life’s Essentials to the Door with Contactless Delivery
Helping Hands Community grew out of the need to connect people sheltering in place with free, safe, and secure delivery of essential goods. The organization provides the technology and logistics support to organize and streamline the delivery process for food banks, faith-based organizations, corporate donors, and companies like Wider Circle.
“Helping Hands Community was created to connect those in need with those who are able to help,” said Aki Naito, COO of Helping Hands Community. “Through our work serving those most at-risk to severe outcomes from COVID-19, we’ve discovered another issue compounded by the pandemic: food insecurity. While our technology is part of the solution, we need partners like Wider Circle to scale our impact across California and the U.S.”
To learn more about this partnership and get involved with these organizations, visit Wider Circle’s website at www.widercircle.com or the Helping Hands site at www.helpinghands.community.
About Wider Circle
Wider Circle works with health plans nationally to deliver unique community care programs that connect neighbors for better health. Centered on trusted relationships, Wider Circle connects health plan members with familiar neighbors to inform, support and motivate one another, empowering them to be more proactive about their health. Wider Circle’s trusted delivery network has been proven to drive resilience, improve member experience and engagement, and reduce hospitalizations. Today, Wider Circle offers its unique neighborhood care programs to more than 135 communities nationwide, including specialized COVID-19 support for vulnerable populations in isolation via virtual programming and peer-to-peer community support. Please visit www.widercircle.com to learn more.
About Helping Hands Community
Helping Hands Community is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving those most vulnerable to COVID-19. Our technology platform connects partners—including food banks, city and county governments, mutual-aid organizations, faith-based organizations, and community groups—with logistics infrastructure and local community volunteers to ensure food and other essential goods get delivered safely. Our work enables at-risk community members to stay home and stay safe while still receiving food and support they need. Founded by veterans of Uber, Facebook, and Google, the Helping Hands Community organization comprises more than 150 volunteers nationwide, both professionals wanting to give back and students just beginning their careers. Together, we make local volunteerism easy and enable our partners to better serve vulnerable individuals.