Hungry? Order your food for a cause
16 August 2019 at 7:30 am
One of the country’s largest food delivery services has launched a program to give hungry Melbournians the chance to satisfy their food cravings and help people who are experiencing homelessness at the same time.
Deliveroo’s Homeless Delivery initiative, launched publicly on Tuesday, gives customers the option of donating $1 to a homelessness charity when ordering from 25 Melbourne restaurants.
Deliveroo pools donations into $20 food voucher codes that the charities can then send onto their clients to use and order food to wherever they are – be it in a shelter, or somewhere they are sleeping rough for the night.
Participating restaurants include Royal Stacks, Poked, Nosh and Etta Pasta Bar.
Joanne Woo, Deliveroo Australia’s head of corporate affairs, told Pro Bono News that because 95 per cent of people experiencing homelessness have mobile phones, it was a simple way for the company to help vulnerable people.
“Because Deliveroo tracks you via GPS, you don’t need a permanent address,” Woo said.
“It’s important to show [people who are homeless], that they can choose whatever food that they want. It gives them control.”
The Lighthouse Foundation, which shelters and provides services for young people at risk of or experiencing homelessness, is currently the program’s only charity partner, but the hope is that more charities will sign on soon.
Woo said that thousands of dollars had been raised through the initiative since its soft launch in February, with over 100 meals distributed to residents of the Lighthouse Foundation.
CEO of the Lighthouse Foundation, Simon Benjamin, said the service has been invaluable, particularly over the last few months.
“As we’re now in the thick of the colder months, it’s important we get good quality meals into the mouths of those that need it most,” Benjamin said.
“Homeless Delivery has provided thousands of dollars in donations over the last eight months to those who have experienced tough times.”
As the program grows, Deliveroo is aiming to partner with more charities, particularly those who can give meal voucher codes to clients sleeping rough.
The company also hopes to be able to roll it out on a national scale.
Woo said she hoped the initiative encouraged other companies to think about how they could make a difference.
“We all have the capacity to make a change. So we really want to see other businesses also make a stand on social issues and just find creative ways of how they can help, and how they can integrate it into their business model,” she said.