Metro and our Mobility on Demand partner Via have joined forces with Best Start, an initiative funded by First 5 LA, and their countywide network of nonprofits to deliver food and diapers to vulnerable families during the COVID-19 crisis. First 5 LA aims to strengthen families, communities and social systems so all children in L.A. County enter kindergarten ready to succeed in school and life
Food delivery service under this COVID-19 crisis helps keep people sheltered in place with less exposure for grocery or food bank workers. The program also keeps children of single parents from being exposed to the virus and sick folks from endangering others by riding on transit.
So far, the partnership has piloted a total of 30 food and grocery deliveries in Central LA with Para Los Ninos and the Karsh Center. Metro, Via, First 5 LA and Best Start are exploring additional deployments in all of the 14 Best Start communities. The families who received the deliveries were grateful for the food in this time of uncertainty and economic upheaval.
The pilot is helping us explore if food delivery can provide additional efficiencies in our transit system as opposed to transit or on demand trips to stores or food banks. We are also investigating if food deliveries can provide improved access to opportunity since many disadvantaged communities exist in areas far from groceries or places where it’s hard to find healthy food.
We also want to learn whether these kind of food deliveries can be more environmentally friendly then going to the store — i.e. if several sets of food and groceries are picked up at one location and delivered to several houses close together in one community. In addition to potentially, reducing emissions and congestion, the deliveries save time for working parents. Metro will be evaluating the efficiency and cost of the food delivery pilot and monitoring the need for the service as the pandemic evolves.