During Covid-19, with food banks overwhelmed by high demand and seniors and those with underlying conditions told to stay home to protect themselves, there’s a huge need to deliver warm meals across the country. A pilot program in Florida called Meals of Love–of restaurants, government agencies and nonprofits–is stepping to the plate, literally.

Coordinated by the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) and Feed The Need Florida, local restaurants will deliver up to 1,000 meals every day to those in need across four Central Florida counties: Orange, Seminole, Brevard and Osceola. GetSwift’s delivery technology is there to help them all organize, track, and route the meals.  

Anyone over 60 and disabled adults between 18-59, can apply to get warm meals from a group of local restaurants right to their doors. Restaurants can apply to help, too, right here.

It’s no small effort to coordinate on the fly.

“This ambitious endeavor would not be possible without the technology GetSwift will provide to organize orders, schedule drivers, and provide logistics to ensure timely, accurate deliveries,” said Skip Kimpel, Chief Information Officer at 4R Restaurant Group, whose restaurants–4 Rivers Smokehouse–will be providing meals seven days a week.

As drivers come onboard, GetSwift’s delivery phone app gives them an easy way to see all their upcoming orders and saves them time with optimized routes. Restaurants can track all their orders, give ETAs and live-tracking to seniors waiting on their meals, and make sure the meals are on track to be delivered on time before any problems arise. 

The initiative is also important for the restaurants industry, which has taken a big hit as most restaurants have had to close on-premise dining and figure out how to survive with only delivery and pick-up. 

“The local restaurants are preparing meals and, by that way, there are dollars that are being infused into that restaurant industry, one that has been hit so hard,” Karla Radka of the Senior Resource Alliance, one of the nonprofits involved, told the local ABC station

The initiatives don’t stop there. Radka is also calling seniors to see if they have enough medication and food for 30 days, according to the Orlando Sentinel. 

All these groups, including us here at GetSwift, coming together–both the public and private sector–is the only way to start to meet the tremendous needs of Floridians and people across the country in the coming weeks and months. 

“Now is the time to stand united as we meet one of the greatest challenges we face as a nation,” said GetSwift’s CEO Bane Hunter.

Hammel of 4 Rivers Smokehouse shared a similar sentiment. “Now, more than ever, we need to take care of each other,” he said

If you’re a senior or disabled adult in Central Florida in need of nutritious meals, you can apply for Meals of Love here, and the Meals of Love team will be in touch via phone/email with more details. Restaurant operators can sign up to help right here

Photo by Tristan Le from Pexels

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