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Feeding Tampa Bay, Uber Eats partner up to deliver meals, groceries

Seniors can now receive the organization’s services through Uber Eats delivery.

Feeding Tampa Bay and Uber Eats announced Thursday they would team up to provide meals and groceries to “Tampa Bay’s vulnerable populations” amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Seniors can now receive the organization’s services through Uber Eats delivery.

“We are in the midst of a time when we have to re-imagine solutions around food relief,” Feeding Tampa Bay President and CEO Thomas Mantz said in a news release. “Our community needs us now than more ever. Shifting our model would not be possible without innovation and partnerships, and we are proud to work alongside Uber Eats to deliver crucial meals to seniors in our region.”

Uber spokesperson Javi Correoso said Uber Eats will help Feeding Tampa Bay with grocery and meal distribution on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Feeding Tampa Bay provides Uber with addresses for pickup and drop-off, Correoso said.

The partnership is part of Uber’s pledge to provide 10 million free rides and food deliveries to health care workers, seniors and others in need. Before the pandemic, Uber said it averaged 16 million trips per day across the world.

Correoso didn’t speculate how much the partnership would cost Uber. As of Thursday afternoon, Uber was selling for $27.13 per share and had a total worth of about $46.9 billion.

Feeding Tampa Bay said demand has for its services has increased 400% since the pandemic began. The organization has doubled its output of direct distribution since March, according to the news release.

“Due to social isolation and heightened safety measures, Feeding Tampa Bay is shifting all of its distribution model to delivery, drive-thru and to-go meals,” said Uber Senior Manager of Florida Public Policy Stephanie Smith. “Our Uber Eats partnership with Feeding Tampa Bay fills a crucial need for this increased demand of meal deliveries and we are proud to be part of the solution in supporting Florida’s seniors.”

Normally, Feeding Tampa Bay serves 600,000 people who are food insecure in Citrus, Hardee, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sumter counties.

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman praised Feeding Tampa Bay and Uber Eats for their partnership.

“Thank you to Uber Eats and Feeding Tampa Bay for this partnership. Tampa and the Tampa Bay area has time and again witnessed the incredible collaboration between public and private entities in providing critical solutions during these challenging times,” Castor said. “The partnership between Uber Eats and Feeding Tampa Bay, whose goal is to be the driving force behind all food relief in the region, is a welcomed alliance in keeping our seniors safe at home during this crisis.”

Kriseman added, “Being safer at home means spending less time in grocery stores and restaurants. Uber Eats and Feeding Tampa Bay have made that easier and are helping to make St. Pete a healthier community as this virus threatens our well-being. I am proud of the creative partnership between Uber Eats and Feeding Tampa Bay and their desire to help those most in need. I am especially appreciative of those who are on the front line for these organizations ensuring such needs are met.”

Uber has also contributed nearly 7,000 free meals to first responders and health care workers in the Tampa Bay area, according to Correoso.

Uber is also launching a program in Tampa to provide health care workers with free electric scooter rides. Interested organizations can request information on the free 30-minute JUMP rides by emailing tampa-social-impact@uber.com.

It comes after Spin — a Ford Motor Company subsidiary — launched its own free e-scooter program for health care workers.

Written By

Mark Bergin is a freelance journalist, who previously worked as an online writer for 10News WTSP in St. Petersburg. Bergin has covered the Tampa Bay Rays’ stadium negotiations, the 2018 midterm elections, Hurricane Irma, Tampa Bay’s transportation issues and city/county government. He also covers the NFL for the Bleav Podcast Network and for BrownsNation.com. You can follow his work on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram at @mdbergin. Reach him by email at markdbergin@gmail.com.

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