In mid-March, at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, the City of Concord, CA recognized the community would need additional support to help serve at-risk and homebound residents who needed access to nutritious food from the safety of their homes.
The City of Concord requested assistance with creating an online tool to organize an emergency food program for older homebound adults experiencing food insecurity.
USDR volunteers had a new website, Neighbor Express, up and running within two days of receiving the City of Concord’s request for help. On the frontend, the customizable site shares information about the program and includes online forms to collect volunteer names and people who need assistance. The backend, built with Airtable, offers ready-to-use templates to collect form responses and help manage volunteers and requests for help. The platform helps governments easily connect at-risk residents with the foods and services they need by contacting people in the volunteer database.
Within the program’s first two months, 1,000+ meals were delivered through Neighbor Express in Concord. The program received 137 requests, including 111 for regular Meals on Wheels deliveries, and 210 volunteers registered to assist with deliveries. After Neighbor Express launched in Concord, CA, it was implemented in other cities across the country, including Walnut Hill, CA and Paterson, NJ. The Neighbor Express model has also been used in Canada.
Governments interested in bringing Neighbor Express to their communities can work with USDR volunteers to create their own versions of the tool. Learn how to bring Neighbor Express to your community.