Delivering with Dignity was launched on March 23, 2020, as an emergency response to the healthcare and economic crisis created by the novel coronavirus and has grown exponentially in its effort to help the most vulnerable and isolated individuals in Southern Nevada. Through partnerships with locally-owned restaurants, leading nonprofit agencies, and private corporations, the program delivers meals directly to the doorsteps of residents, keeps dozens of restaurant staff employed, and expands to support community facilities, including domestic abuse and homeless shelters.
“Our community is facing challenges like never before, but as it has in the past, we are coming together to help each other,” said Delivering with Dignity co-founder Julie Murray, Chair of the Moonridge Foundation. “Too many in Las Vegas are facing a food crisis because they are unable to leave their homes due to the risks of contracting COVID-19 and unable to access food delivery services. At the same time, restaurants are struggling to keep their businesses afloat and staff employed. The meals we are delivering are made with love by professional culinary staff whose food has now taken on a whole new meaning... building hope in a time of fear and creating connections in a time of isolation.”
Thanks to private financial donations, numerous partnerships with nonprofit agencies, a cadre of Food Hero delivery volunteers, and multiple independently owned restaurants, Delivering with Dignity delivers per week an average of 4,500 meals. Each delivery can feed recipients for three days. Delivering with Dignity’s initial and primary focus is delivering meals directly to individuals at their homes, but given the great need for food during this unprecedented crisis, the program has grown to encompass the efforts of major corporations like Zappos, which has provided an additional 1,000 meals per week directly to nonprofit organizations serving larger populations, such as SHARED Village, Rescue Mission, The Shade Tree, and Salvation Army.
Simultaneous to feeding those in need, Delivering with Dignity is supporting the economically devastated restaurant industry by providing supplemental revenue through the meal program. “Without this program, it would be almost impossible to keep our 25 employees on the payroll” said Elizabeth Blau, owner and partner in Honey Salt and Buddy V’s at The Venetian. “The beauty of this program is that these are not emergency meals or cold sandwiches, these are balanced, nutritious meals prepared with tremendous heart from our culinary team and partner restaurants.”
Delivering with Dignity is working with numerous non-profit partners thus far to identify individual recipients who need the program based on “Triple Threat” criteria: 1) At highest risk for COVID-19 per CDC guidelines; 2) Ineligible or not served by any community organization for the provision of food to their homes; 3) Financially unable to meet their food needs without leaving their home, and do not have a reliable support system of friends or family to assist.
Meals are delivered by “Food Hero” volunteers who abide by strict health and social distancing guidelines and follow routes developed by groundbreaking food delivery logistics technology from Copia, a San Francisco-based technology & logistics company whose infrastructure redistributes edible excess food to shelters and food pantries in 270 cities to reduce hunger and food waste across North America.
Delivering with Dignity plans to continue deliveries and expand its capabilities to help those in need in Southern Nevada as long as the pandemic crisis exists. Program leaders ask community members to support the effort through financial contributions and by becoming Food Hero volunteers.
Delivering with Dignity was co-founded in Las Vegas by Punam Mathur, Executive Director of the Elaine P. Wynn & Family Foundation; Julie Murray, President of The Moonridge Foundation and Moonridge Group; renowned restauranteur Elizabeth Blau, Blau and Associates; and technology partner Copia in collaboration with Clark County Commission Chair Marilyn Kirkpatrick and United Way of Southern Nevada.