DoorDash Celebrates Its Sustainability and Hunger Efforts With SXSW Party
Queue the line: Free food and booze from Torchy’s Tacos and Project DASH
By Alisha McDarris,
7:16AM, Wed. Mar. 6, 2019
It’s been a little over a year since DoorDash stepped up to do more than deliver dinner – they’re also supplying sustenance to those in need through Project DASH (DoorDash Acts for Sustainability and Hunger).
The initiative aims to help excess food stay out of landfills and feed those in need. Restaurants and catering companies end up with quite a bit of leftover food at the end of service, and less than 2% of it is donated – in fact, 40% of food in the U.S. gets wasted, one in eight people regularly experience hunger, and the average restaurant tosses some 100,000 pounds of leftover food annually. And according to restaurants, the biggest obstacle is transportation, as they don’t have the time or employees to deliver excess food to local nonprofits who also don’t have the resources to collect it.
Enter Project DASH. The program partners with platforms like Replate and Copia (organizations that match food-related businesses with local nonprofits) to facilitate the transportation logistics. Dashers make the deliveries and are paid the same as if they were delivering a cheeseburger to West Campus. The company also offers in-kind grants to their nonprofit food rescue partners to help cover the cost of deliveries.
“We’re grateful to be able to leverage our product to invest in this cause and expand food rescue,” said Sueli Shaw, Social Impact Manager at DoorDash. The leftover food goes to Austin organizations like Serafina, Heaven’s Harvest, and Caritas to keep people fed and to prevent nonprofits from having to turn people away.
“Having them has been fantastic,” said Larry Kozlowski of Heaven’s Harvest, a ministry of North Austin Christian Church and home to a food pantry that hosts several community meals a week that wouldn’t be possible without companies like Copia and Project DASH. Without the Dashers bringing leftovers to his door, he’d have to source, prepare, and serve over 200 meals a week – a task he simply wouldn’t be able to maintain. “The service has made my life exponentially easier,” Kozlowski said.
In the last year in Austin, Project DASH has made more than 200 deliveries of over 13,000 pounds of food. Nationwide, Project DASH has facilitated over 8,000 deliveries totaling more than 500,000 pounds of donated food, making their one-year anniversary truly something to celebrate.
“I’m really proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish,” said Shaw. “I’m looking forward to being a lot more active in the next year.”
Celebrate the milestone during SXSW. DoorDash is hosting a pop-up with Torchy’s Tacos – now available for delivery through DoorDash – with “free Torchy’s tacos, chips and queso, and plenty of booze from local Austin vendors,” plus games and daily live music from a tiny house with a big backyard at 98 Red River Street (one block south of the Austin Convention Center). They’re also offering $0 delivery fees on all national Torchy’s Tacos orders after SXSW, from March 18-22. The “Tiny Home Away From Home” experience runs March 12-14, 9am-11pm, and is open to the public.