Created on March 23, 2020, as an emergency response to the healthcare and economic crisis of COVID-19, Delivering with Dignity has delivered more than 325,000 individual meals directly to the doorsteps of the valley’s most vulnerable individuals and families while also keeping dozens of restaurant staff employed.
Delivering with Dignity works with nearly 50 non-profit agencies to identify county residents struggling with poverty daily and are most at risk according to U.S. Center for Disease Control guidelines for contracting COVID-19 when they leave their homes, including the elderly, those with underlying medical conditions and their family members living in the same household.
Over the last year, meals have been prepared by culinary professionals at four independently owned restaurants (Honey Salt, Graffiti Bao, Valencian Gold, and The Jolt Coffee Co.) and then packed and delivered by thousands of volunteers to households located in almost every zip code in Southern Nevada, nearly 50 percent of which are home to seniors and 15 percent of which have children.
When the program first started, an average of 3,500 meals were delivered weekly. Now volunteer Food Heroes deliver an average of 6,500 meals per week while abiding by strict health and social distancing guidelines. Each delivery provides recipients with three dinners.
“One year ago, our incredible partners created Delivering with Dignity. We knew there was a gap that needed to be filled however we had no idea that the program would become such a bedrock of support, hope and sustenance for so many in our community,” said Clark County Commission Chairman Marilyn Kirkpatrick.
Elizabeth Blau, who is owner/partner in Honey Salt and Buddy V’s at the Venetian, noted that Delivering with Dignity has also provided critical support to the partner restaurants that have suffered during the pandemic. “Without Delivering with Dignity it would have been almost impossible to keep our 25 employees on payroll,” Blau added. “The beauty of this program is that these are not emergency meals or cold sandwiches. These are balanced, nutritious meals prepared with tremendous heart from a culinary team and partner restaurants and then delivered to those in need thanks to the generosity of volunteers across the valley.”
While it started in Southern Nevada, Delivering with Dignity’s program model has since expanded to serve Reno/Sparks, Nev., and Orange County, Calif.
Kirkpatrick and co-founders Punam Mathur, executive director of the Elaine P. Wynn & Family Foundation; Julie Murray, chair of The Moonridge Foundation; and renowned restauranteur Elizabeth Blau, credit the program’s success to the overwhelming support of the community, including generous donations from residents and private businesses. Most recently, Nevada Gold Mines, operated by Barrick donated $150,000 to support the Southern Nevada program and expansion in Northern Nevada. A virtual check presentation recently occurred and can be viewed here and downloaded here.
“Nevada Gold Mines is committed to addressing the very real issue of food insecurity across Nevada,” said Alissa Wood, Head of Communities and Corporate Affairs for Nevada Gold Mines. “We are grateful for the program’s leadership and the power of partnership in supporting our communities during this difficult time.”
To volunteer as a Food Hero or make a financial donation, as little as $6 can provide a meal to someone in need, visit: https://www.deliveringwithdignitylv.org.