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    Food Delivery Businesses Showing Up For People Right Now

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    At difficult times like these, Fred Rogers followed his mother’s sage advice:

    “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”

    That’s certainly been one of the few bright spots amidst the coronavirus pandemic—people and businesses of all sorts stepping up to help. Many of us have been reminded, in dramatic fashion, just how important our nurses, grocery store workers, and restaurant workers truly are.

    Sure, there are still scammers out there, looking to make a buck in a tough situation for many. The food delivery industry has its fair share of heroes and opportunists, just like any sector.

    To help you sort through your options, here’s a handy list of food delivery companies that have stepped up their game during the COVID-19 crisis and a bit about how they’ve done so.

    These Food Delivery Companies Have Stepped Up Their Support During The Crisis

    Doesn’t food just taste better when someone else has lovingly made it for you?

    While practicing social distancing, getting delicious food delivered to your door can be one of those simple pleasures. Ordering out safely and ethically can be tricky though.

    Here are some delivery services and restaurants that are changing the way they do business amidst the crisis to better support workers and customers alike:

    DoorDash

    To protect their “Dashers,” the company is shipping 1 million sets of hand sanitizer and gloves as well as offering guidance for contactless delivery (now the company’s default) to help them stay safe. DoorDash has also offered an additional $100 million of targeted commission relief to help small restaurants with five or fewer locations.

    Instacart

    If an Instacart worker is placed under mandatory quarantine or diagnosed with COVID-19, the company offers up to two weeks’ pay. The policy was initially only valid through mid-March but the company has now extended the offer through early May. Instacart is also allowing their in-store shoppers to accrue sick leave as well. 

    The company continues to be in negotiations with its workers about the best ways to support them during the crisis.

    Postmates

    They’re doing no-contact delivery and they’ve set up a relief fund to assist employees with medical costs related to COVID-19. The company is providing two weeks of paid sick leave should an employee test positive for the virus.

    Starbucks

    The good news is that Starbucks baristas already have sick leave. The even better news is that the company is expanding its “catastrophe pay” program to employees affected by COVID-19. 

    For any employee diagnosed with the virus, Starbucks is offering an additional two weeks of paid leave. The same benefit also applies to employees who have had prolonged contact with someone who has been diagnosed or those at heightened risk of contracting it.

    UberEats

    The speedy delivery service currently provides its drivers and delivery people (those infected or exposed to the virus) with financial assistance for up to 14 days. UberEats has also stated that they are exploring compensation options for drivers that have been quarantined or diagnosed with the virus. This could take the form of a fund or even a partnership with other companies.

    Restaurants offering forms of free delivery

    These companies are giving customers a break when it comes to those delivery fees. Here’s the rundown:

    Why Our Food Delivery Services and Restaurants Remain Essential

    The word “essential” is being thrown around a lot lately.

    Whether it’s to discuss workers that keep our economy running or businesses that literally sustain lives, those companies and people that prepare and deliver our food are crucial.

    During these difficult days, per the good advice from Mrs. Rogers, it’s important to keep an eye out for the helpers among them and to support them with our dollars.

    Paul Perry is a freelance writer who works with FairShake, a consumer arbitration platform. In the past, he's worked as an educator and nonprofit executive, focused on empowering youth and families.

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