From the PATH Blog
Throughout the pandemic, neighbors across San Diego County have counted on PATH for their nutritional support.
In April 2020, PATH launched PATH Cooks Mobile, a volunteer-led, meal delivery service which was developed in direct response to the COVID-19 crisis. The program delivers nutritious meals to high-risk clients that are sheltering in place in motels and scattered site homes throughout San Diego County. At the one-year anniversary of the program, over 25,000 meals had been delivered.
“Food insecurity is a major problem for people experiencing homelessness and out of the pandemic came new and innovative ways to address this issue," said Hanan Scrapper, PATH San Diego Regional Director. "Sheltering at hotels and motels provides our clients safety and PATH Cooks Mobile provides them sustaining nourishment while our case managers find ways to help them make it home."
In September 2020, PATH joined the Ride United: Last Mile Delivery program led by 211/CIE San Diego, which is leveraging their Community Information Exchange partners to coordinate food deliveries to vulnerable San Diegans including low-income families, older adults, and those who can’t leave their home due to COVID-19.
Meals are prepared at PATH Connections Housing downtown by The Urban Taste. Staff and volunteers cook more than 200 meals daily for on-site residents and off-site clients. After meal preparation, DoorDash “Dashers” pick up the packaged food and delivered to PATH clients across the city. Some meals delivered go to individuals who are residing at Project Roomkey sites, many of which do not have kitchens or amenities to prepare fresh meals.
All PATH clients are also connected with case managers, who work with them to develop housing plans. Clients reside at these sites while they wait for housing opportunities to become available.
“This program saved my life and my dog Peanut’s life. PATH has done more for me than anyone else I have worked with,” said Caroline, a PATH client, currently staying at a Project Roomkey site.
While the pandemic has shone new light on long-standing equity and access issues, including food insecurity, and presented many challenges, it has also forged new opportunities for innovation and collaboration. The PATH Cooks Mobile program would not be possible without the collective effort among the community partners involved, including The Urban Taste, 211/CIE San Diego, United Way, DoorDash, and PATH volunteers.
PATH is committed to continuing this program and finding new ways to provide fresh, healthy meals to our most vulnerable unhoused neighbors in San Diego.
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