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Lyft Drivers Earn Extra Cash Transporting Food, Supplies for Charities, Businesses Essential Deliveries gets meals and home and medical necessities to government agencies, nonprofits, businesses and healthcare organizations.

By Stephanie Mlot

This story originally appeared on PCMag

via PC Mag

Lyft this week introduced a pilot program that allows government agencies, local nonprofits, businesses and healthcare organizations to request on-demand delivery of meals, groceries, medical supplies, hygiene products and home necessities.

Acting as a sort of extension of the LyftUp Driver Community Task Force introduced in March, Essential Deliveries kills two birds with one stone: It helps partners meet demand while generating work for drivers. Initial partners include Dole Packaged Foods (transporting goods from their warehouses to senior facilities) and charity Army of Angels (distributing school lunches to low-income families).

"With Lyft's help, we're now able to help meet the critical needs of vulnerable populations … faster and more efficiently than we could on our own," Dave Spare, president of marketing at Dole Packaged Foods, said in a statement. Army of Angels advisor Greg Valla echoed that sentiment, adding that, "We're fortunate that Lyft stepped in to deliver food to students and their families who otherwise would simply not be able to eat during this time."

Related: Uber, Lyft Suspend Shared Rides Option

Essential Deliveries is initially available in 11 US cities: Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Orlando, Phoenix, San Francisco, San Diego, San Antonio and Seattle. As Lyft develops more partnerships and enlists more drivers, the program will continue to expand across the country.

"As communities shelter in place, the need for items to be delivered to the doorstep is at an all-time high," according to Lisa Boyd, director of social impact at Lyft. "Whether it's meals for high-risk seniors or medical supplies for individuals with a medical condition, Lyft's community of drivers is ready to help meet the needs of our communities while earning additional income."

Rival Uber, meanwhile, launched a pilot program in February allowing folks in Arizona to book trips by calling a 1-800 number rather than relying on a mobile app. It has now expanded that phone service to facilitate Uber Eats deliveries.

Stephanie Mlot

Reporter at PCMag

Stephanie began as a PCMag reporter in May 2012. She moved to New York City from Frederick, Md., where she worked for four years as a multimedia reporter at the second-largest daily newspaper in Maryland. She interned at Baltimore magazine and graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (in the town of Indiana, in the state of Pennsylvania) with a degree in journalism and mass communications.

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