‘Food rescue’ app helps make sure food in Prince William County gets to those who need it

Want to help your community while still social distancing? In Virginia’s Prince William County, there’s an app for that — Prince William Food Rescue.

Prince William County needs people willing to do food rescues, making sure food that is available gets to those who need it.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, many Prince William food rescues were done by senior retirees who volunteered their time to drive food around so it could get to those who needed it.

But the outbreak changed things.

“We are seeing more seniors reaching out to be part of the home delivery to receive food,” said Aaron Tolson, program director for Prince William Food Rescue.

“Many of whom wouldn’t normally necessary need it but now they’re fearful and staying home. So, we are definitely seeing an uptick in those numbers.”


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Some of the new requests for food deliveries are the same volunteers they relied on to drive food around just few weeks ago.

They’re expecting to add at least 100 more seniors in need this week alone and need volunteers to fill the void.

“We will have a lot of need for people who are healthy, who can hop in their car and take 40 minutes to pick up some food,” said Tolson.

food rescue app
A mock-up of the Prince William Food Rescue app.

The good news is this is a way you can volunteer while safely social distancing using the Prince William Food Rescue App.

“Download the app, create a profile. It takes about 2 minutes,“ said Tolson. ”Then you can be available to claim food rescues to help move food around the county.”

What does claiming a food rescue mean? It means you will see a map that shows people or organizations in your area that need food delivered.

“It will show them exactly where the pick up is and give them an idea of about how much food they are transporting and where its got to go to,” said Tolson.

“Usually it’s about five miles from pick up to drop off. So, they can see on a map where it is and make the decision can I do that? Am I willing to go wherever it is?“

Then you choose the pickup or pickups you’re willing to do. You pick up the food, put it in your trunk then drop it off on a doorstep.

If you can’t do deliveries, but still want to help, they can also use donations of food and cash to buy food.

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