Uber has teamed up with Meals on Wheels America to help the organization fulfill its mission of providing healthy meals to homebound seniors, veterans and others. The two-year partnership entails a $1 million donation, which includes a direct contribution to Meals on Wheels and promotional codes for volunteers to get free rides, as well as volunteer support from Uber employees.
Through its partnership with Uber, Meals on Wheels and its more than 5,000 local affiliate programs throughout the country will be able to better equip its 2 million volunteers to get from point A to point B. Meals on Wheels currently serves more than 2.4 million seniors but aims to reach more through the help of Uber.
“One of the things Uber has always done a pretty good job of — even though it’s been very dispersed — is thinking about how we have local teams on the ground in markets around the country and how we can get involved and help our local communities,” Uber VP of U.S. and Canada Rachel Holt told me over the phone. “Teaming up with Meals on Wheels made a lot of sense — helping get rid of the roadblocks for Meals on Wheels affiliates to get to seniors.”
Uber’s $1 million donation aligns with a public service campaign from Meals on Wheels called “America, Let’s Do Lunch.” The campaign encourages people to be of service during their lunch breaks and serve meals to people in need. Uber is one of the first companies to really step up to help raise awareness and get volunteers to help seniors in need, Meals on Wheels CEO Ellie Hollander told me. Last week, Uber employees volunteered with Meals on Wheels, helping prepare and deliver meals and care packages.
“I think it’s just an amazing way to see how quickly Uber was able to activate their network in their 14 markets just in one week to really make a difference,” Hollander said.
Uber also managed to get more than 500 UberEATS restaurant partners to agree to donate $1 from every order made on Wednesday, November 22.
“We think it’s going to make a huge difference to our country and to communities throughout the U.S.,” Hollander said. “We think it’s going to be a great model for other companies that want to do good and do well at the same time.”
Since Travis Kalanick left, Uber has made a $1.2 million donation to Girls Who Code, and a $5 million donation to domestic violence and sexual assault prevention organizations like Raliance, National Network to End Domestic Violence, Women of Color Network, Inc., Casa de Esperanza and others. All of those donations come following Uber’s controversial first half of the year that included allegations of sexual harassment, sexism and management issues.