LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – DoorDash is known for its late-night restaurant deliveries of staples like burritos and chicken sandwiches, but every Wednesday morning in Lincoln, the company’s drivers do a whole different kind of delivery.

This Wednesday morning, more than a dozen DoorDash drivers drove through the Lincoln Food Bank parking lot. They picked up bags of food to deliver to people in need. For these people, food is free, as is delivery.

It’s part of a nationwide program that began at the height of the pandemic, when those who don’t travel easily due to age or disability were more isolated than ever. It’s a partnership between United Way, DoorDash and local food banks.

“If we’ve learned anything from COVID, it’s that we were really not hitting a population that really couldn’t access some of our services,” said Alynn Sampson, vice president of operations and impact at the Food Bank of Lincoln. “There are individuals who really lack transportation or a network of individuals who can fetch food resources for them.”

In Lincoln, the Ride United Last Mile Delivery program delivers more than 200 bags of food each week, 30% of which goes to homebound veterans. These bags include canned food and easy-to-prepare items like pasta and pancakes. Deliveries mean a lot to those who can’t spend much time away from home.

“We hear so many stories,” said Peter Schnake, assistant marketing manager for United Way of Lincoln and Lancaster County. “We recently heard of a 74-year-old woman. She lives alone. She is disabled. So she can’t drive to a pantry. If she was able to get there, she can’t queue for food. It makes such a difference in her life to have food delivered to her doorstep every week.

DoorDash drivers, who are paid by DoorDash to make the deliveries, leave the bags at the door, as they would for any other meal.

If you need delivery service, you can reach the Food Bank of Lincoln at 402-466-8170. There is an initial screening, but the food bank aims not to turn away those who need it.