Masbia In Queens Chronicle: Project Dash Helps NYC’s Food Insecure
DoorDash, an online food delivery platform, is teaming up with Masbia, a nonprofit kosher soup kitchen network, to tackle food insecurity in Brooklyn and Queens.
Via the firm’s Project Dash charity, it wants to enable food banks, food pantries, and social impact organizations to leverage DoorDash to provide food to vulnerable groups, including Orthodox Jewish communities, which have religious dietary restrictions, and fresh eats to the aforementioned counties in the Big Apple with the most food insecure populations, according to the delivery platform.
“DoorDash is proud to partner with Masbia, an organization that New Yorkers in need have been able to rely on for over a decade, to power the delivery of groceries and kosher food,” Sascha Owen, senior manager of government relations at DoorDash, said in a statement. “This partnership is part of our ongoing work to broaden food access through Project Dash and underscores the importance of businesses and community leaders coming together to break down barriers and meet our most vulnerable neighbors where they are.”
Throughout the country, there are 38 million people facing food insecurity, according to DoorDash.
The New York City Office for Food Policy’s Food Metrics Report 2021 depicted that Brooklyn had 348,920 food insecure people in 2019, which was 13.5 percent of its more than 2.58 million population. Queens had 221,350 people who were food insecure — 9.7 percent of its more than 2.28 million population. Overall, New York City with a population of more than 8.4 million had 1,054,580 food-insecure people. The Big Apple had a food insecurity rate of 12.5 percent.
Brooklyn (589,653) had the most Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients, followed by the Bronx (477,090), Queens (316,349), Manhattan (235,719), and Staten Island (66,168), according to the report.
The partnership between DoorDash’s charity and Masbia has made nearly 2,500 deliveries since February and they plan to make another 1,000 weekly deliveries.
“We have seen firsthand the challenges to meeting the growing need for getting food to our neighbors in need — especially by providing dignity to people by eliminating their breadline experience one family at a time,” Alexander Rapaport, executive director at Masbia Soup Kitchen Network, said in a statement. “DoorDash’s commitment to making a community-wide impact and understanding of the urgency for addressing food insecurity speaks to their pledge of being a reliable community partner.”
Masbia provides both ready-to-eat foods at soup kitchens and raw groceries at food pantries, according to Rapaport. The nonprofit handles 7,500 food pantry appointments and close to 2,000 soup kitchen dinners weekly.
“We are evolving with this technology,” said Rapaport to the Queens Chronicle. “We are making the commitment that we have from DoorDash and figuring out how to fill a gap in a cost-effective way, especially when it comes to larger families without cars that can’t make the trips to get the food.”
People can use the Plentiful app, which is available on Android as an application or others can text FOOD at 726879 to schedule to get produce, according to Masbia’s website. For that not tech-savvy, they can call (718) 407-1840 for assistance.
Masbia is located at 54-02 New Utrecht Ave. and 13-72 Coney Island Ave., both in Brooklyn, and 105-47 64 Road in Forest Hills. All locations are closed on Jewish holidays and are open from Sunday through Thursday from 2 to 7 p.m. Soup kitchen meals at their locations do not require an appointment and no identification is required for either the produce or the prepared food.
“The clients on the breadline are overwhelmingly from New York’s immigrant communities,” said a DoorDash spokesman. “The appointment app we use operates in 10 different languages.”
English, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Arabic, Haitian Creole, Urdu, Bengali, Korean, and Hebrew/Yiddish are the languages on the app.
DoorDash had previously teamed up with Butter Beans Kitchen in Long Island City at 39-01 St. to provide home delivery meal service to remote students throughout the New York City metropolitan area for families dependent on the National School Lunch Program.
DoorDash, which reached over one million deliveries and provided an estimated 21 million meals in more than 900 cities across the United States and Canada, is also inviting more Big Apple organizations interested in working with the company’s Project Dash to help it expand and enhance its program at doordash.formstack.com/forms/project_dash_contact.
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