Since March, almost every industry has been negatively impacted by the outbreak of COVID-19, causing our city to shut down—save for a few essential businesses—and stay at home, with the goal of slowing the curve of the spread of the virus. Due to the shutdown, frontline workers were overloaded, and many left without proper protective equipment (PPE), while the hospitality industry took a huge hit, causing thousands of Miami residents to be left without jobs. However, through this tough time, the community joined together and gave back to keep the city alive, aiding those who needed it most during this time. And this movement was largely impacted by a few select game changers, who went above and beyond to ensure that our city’s frontline workers and businesses had support.
Below, we chat with some of the most influential individuals who gave back this Spring.
HL: Tell us how DeliverLean has pivoted to serve the community during this tough time in Miami?
SH: When the pandemic started, we knew we had to step up for our South Florida community. We formed a strategic partnership with Alonzo Mourning and the Overtown Youth Center to provide meals to underserved inner city families in downtown Miami. Since we started the partnership with Alonzo, we have distributed over 20,000 meals and 80,000 non-perishable items and are continuing our partnership as normal life begins to resume as there is still a need. We also formed partnerships with two major South Florida sports teams—InterMiami CF and Miami Marlins to distribute non-perishables to those in need for several weeks. All in all, over the last three months, we have donated over 100,000 meals to families in need in South Florida.
HL: What has been the process of doing that, as well as the logistics that go into it?
SH: We own and operate a 60,000 square foot USDA/FDA certified facility in Hollywood, Florida where we create healthy, balanced meals on a daily basis. Then through The DeliverLeanFoundation, we launched a non-perishable food drive where anyone in the tri-county area can help the community from the comfort of their home. If you have non-perishable items you would like to donate, all you have to do is go to www.deliverleanfoundation.com, fill out the form with your name, address and items you have and we will dispatch our fleet of 400 drivers to pick up the items at your doorstep within 24 hours. These non-perishable items are then re-distributed to the community at our food distributions.
HL: Can you share some success stories since starting this initiative?
SH: Through our charitable division, The DeliverLean Foundation, we have been able to partner with incredible organizations and people in South Florida to help the community As a result of our grassroots give back efforts, we decided to form a 501(c)(3) in order to continue supporting those in need during this pandemic and any other future crises where it is difficult for people to get food. We’ve also been able to grow our team immensely and offer jobs to those who may have lost theirs during the pandemic. I’ve seen our team strive to be the best they can each day to make sure our operation runs smoothly and we can deliver healthy, balanced meals to our customers and the community.
HL: Tell us about your partnerships with sports organizations. Who has been integral in helping you step up?
SH: Alonzo Mourning and Overtown Youth Center, InterMiami CF and the Miami Marlins have all been incredible partners during this process. We have been able to help thousands of individuals and families during this unprecedented time and without them, by our side, we could not have made such an impact.
HL: How has DeliverLean’s demand increased since the stay at home order?
SH: It varies by business unit. Our wholesale division is down slightly because we service many hotels and airports which have been closed over the last few months. However, our direct to consumer division is up as we offer contact-free delivery and our senior meals division, DeliverLean Care, has increased substantially because of our senior meal delivery partnership with Miami-Dade County.
HL: Do you think this need for getting food at home will continue moving forward?
SH: Times have definitely changed with regard to how people feel about food and dining out. Having a healthy, balanced meal that comes from a company with the highest level of food safety has never been more important. We hope to continue keeping our customers and community healthy.