ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr., Freeholder President Brendan Gill and Vice President Wayne Richardson announced a partnership with Lyft to assist the County in delivering emergency food boxes to homebound and vulnerable senior citizens. A pilot program was implemented on Thursday, May 28, with Lyft drivers delivering emergency food boxes to 50 homebound senior citizens. Lyft drivers delivered another 50 boxes to seniors on Thursday, June 4, and are scheduled to assist the County on future food distribution initiatives. The partnership is part of Lyft’s new Essential Deliveries pilot, in which local organizations and non-profits can request a Lyft driver to deliver essential items. The service also gives New Jersey drivers an additional earning opportunity while helping to meet the needs of the local community. 

“During these challenging times, regular people and corporations are stepping forward and lending a helping hand to those in need. Lyft has the drivers and logistics in place to help us reach our vulnerable senior population,” DiVincenzo said. “I want to thank Freeholder President Gill for connecting the County with Lyft. This is an example of how government and private business can combine resources for the benefit of our residents,” he added.

“As communities shelter in place, the need for items to be delivered to their doorstep is at an all-time high,” said Andrew Woolf, Pennsylvania Regional Director at Lyft. “Whether it's meals for high-risk seniors or rides to get people where they need to go, Lyft’s community of drivers is ready to help meet the needs of our communities while earning additional income,” he added.  

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“Our County leadership has done a tremendous job of coming together to provide services for those in need during the pandemic. With respect to the provision of food, there are a number of residents who, unfortunately, are unable to attend our weekly Food Distribution events. I thank Lyft for their participation in this much needed service, and I thank our County Administration for working with urgency to bring the project to fruition,” Gill said.

“The COVID-19 related health concerns of our citizens has been at the forefront of our minds as County leaders. Yet, for many of our residents and neighbors, the need for food is just as pressing. Partnering with Lyft provides the County with, literally a vehicle, to assist our homebound seniors in need of food,” Richardson said.

Essex County was utilizing drivers and buses from its Special Transportation Program to deliver the emergency food boxes during the previous weeks. On May 28, a team of drivers from Lyft began weekly deliveries of emergency food boxes to seniors throughout Essex County.

LyftUp is Lyft’s comprehensive effort to expand transportation access to those who need it most. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Lyft has activated more than 500 LyftUp partners – including public health entities, local governments, nonprofits and community organizations – to provide free ride credits and free delivery of essential goods for vulnerable communities and critical workers.