FareShare to help feed struggling workers 

With Melbourne in the thick of its second lockdown, food charity FareShare has reported a further increase in unemployed hospitality workers seeking food relief.

As tighter restrictions continue, the people who typically bolster Melbourne’s vibrant hospitality scene, such as international students and visa workers, are the ones who have lost work and are unable to access financial assistance.

FareShare estimates it has provided more than 200,000 cooked meals for international students and visa workers in Melbourne during the pandemic, with a further spike in demand since the second lockdown.

Thousands of FareShare meals are feeding international students from Monash, Melbourne and CQ Universities each week, while community groups have also sprung up to support struggling students.

Angela Valansi, of the newly formed Kindness Community Group, has been handing out FareShare meals from a Fitzroy Church. She said it was “heartbreaking” to see students lose their jobs for a second time. “We have so many people already in our list and I’m so worried for the weeks ahead”, said Angela.

To help ease this demand, delivery app, DoorDash, has partnered with FareShare to bring even more meals to the thousands of people falling on hard times.

Until August 20, DoorDash will provide a free meal to someone in need for every food order made via the app or online (no minimum spend).

FareShare has nearly doubled the production of meals since the start of the outbreak cooking around 9,000 free meals a day from its Abbotsford kitchen. To meet an upswell in demand from communities impacted, FareShare has also employed more than 100 struggling chefs, many of them visa holders.

FareShare CEO, Marcus Godinho, said, “So many Melburnians are doing it tough right now and our city’s normally lively hospitality industry is in crisis with thousands of workers laid off. Partnering with DoorDash allows us to reach even more vulnerable people, including international students and visa workers, who are relying on FareShare’s free, nutritious meals to get by and stay healthy.

“For every DoorDash order made in Melbourne, we can cook and share a nutritious meal with someone struggling to put food on the table. With people accessing food delivery more while they’re staying home, this is a simple way for locals to show their support.”

Hotel chef Karl Hoffrichter, one of FareShare’s newest team members, takes a FareShare meal pack home to support two of his fellow hospitality workers – one an international student and the other a visa holder who have lost work and have no access to government funding.

“All their money goes on rent and bills,” he said. “I’m helping them get through and it makes a real difference”.

Hoffrichter said the whole hospitality industry has suffered; “It doesn’t just affect the kitchen – it’s the bartenders and waiting staff as well.

DoorDash sign agreement with TWU

The partnership aims to further DoorDash and TWU’s commitment to supporting delivery workers during the pandemic to ensure a safe and healthy environment, including financial assistance for those who have tested positive for the virus, those who have been instructed to self-isolate, and for those who are at high risk if they contract the virus.

The agreement will see DoorDash continue to provide masks, hand sanitiser, and gloves, while defaulting all deliveries to “no contact” and enabling riders and drivers to initiate no-contact deliveries, in a joint effort to enforce social-distancing guidelines.

Both organisations are calling on the rest of the food delivery industry to implement protections and help ensure the highest safety for both consumers and workers.

An ongoing dialogue between DoorDash and the TWU will focus on a broad range of issues affecting DoorDash riders and drivers, including insurance to cover riders and drivers injured on the job.

TWU National Secretary, Michael Kaine, said the joint stance was an important first step in giving workers in the gig economy the protections and benefits they need.

“These workers need protections to keep them safe and they need to be paid when they can’t work due to COVID-19. In too many cases these protections are absent. We are pleased that DoorDash is at the forefront of changing the status quo and is working with us to stand with workers on virus protections,” he said.

“Through this joint agreement we want other companies to come on board to protect workers and we want State and Federal Governments to back the process. We believe that collaborating with DoorDash is an important step towards giving gig economy workers the rights and protections they deserve,” Michael added.

DoorDash CEO Tony Xu said the company remained committed to supporting riders, drivers and customers during the pandemic.

“The work that Dashers do every day to deliver meals to families in need is nothing short of extraordinary, and we’re proud to be part of this groundbreaking agreement with the TWU. We hope this meaningful agreement encourages other companies to take similar steps forward to protect workers and prioritize the wellbeing of our communities,” he said.

Igor Perino, a Sydney based DoorDash rider and member of the TWU’s Delivery Riders Alliance, said it was important for delivery workers to have protections.

“We are out every day and night working hard to deliver meals to people and we know there are serious risks,” he said.

Igor said there simply isn’t enough protections for riders and they mostly have to source their own masks, gloves and sanitizer on low salaries. He believes the agreement between Doordash and the TWU will help change this and urges the rest of the food delivery industry to follow this lead.

The TWU has previously signed agreements with Coles on safety and standards in the gig economy, for all transport workers and in the retail supply chain. The TWU also signed a charter with Woolworths on road transport supply chain standards.

A Victorian Government inquiry into the gig economy earlier this month published a report highlighting the need for change in the sector. The TWU welcomed the report and its call for the Federal Government to regulate the sector.

Watch out UberEats, Deliveroo and Menulog – DoorDash has arrived

DoorDash, the largest on-demand food platform for door-to-door delivery in the US, announced today its official launch in Australia, beginning with Melbourne. This marks the company’s first market expansion beyond North America.

Australia’s ‘foodie capital’ will be the first to experience the unparalleled convenience DoorDash will bring to the food market, with Melburnians benefitting from a greater selection of restaurants than ever before. Thousands of restaurants will be available for delivery through DoorDash – in addition to hundreds for pick up – across the CBD and inner suburbs, with plans to expand to the outer suburbs in the coming weeks.

DoorDash’s launch taps into Melbourne’s love of food and food delivery apps. At launch, customers can order from well-known brands such as Nando’s, Betty’s Burgers and Salsa’s Fresh Mex Grill, as well as local independent restaurants including misschu, Bay City Burrito and exclusive partners Cedar Bakery and Il Gusto.

Melbourne isn’t alone in its enthusiasm for on-demand access to food from favourite local restaurants, with the rest of the country continuing to embrace the ease and convenience of food delivery. In fact, almost two million Australians aged 14+ (9.8 per cent) use meal delivery services in an average three-month period.

“We are excited Australia is our first international expansion outside of North America,” says DoorDash general manager, Australia, Thomas Stephens.

“We dove deep into the Australian market and quickly realised two things; restaurants want more from their delivery partners, and not all Melburnians have access to the selection that they should expect.”

“We’ve built a lot of product and expertise to solve these problems in North America. Combining that experience with a tailored approach just for Melbourne, we’re excited to grow the market here. We’ve built a service for Australian eating habits with a simple focus: provide more access to Melburnian’s favourite foods,” Stephens said.

Along with a wide selection of Melbourne’s finest eateries, DoorDash offers a superior delivery experience plus a unique ‘pick-up’ function allowing users to collect their meals on the go in addition to ‘group ordering’ for big groups.

“Working collaboratively with restaurant owners of all business sizes, customers and Dashers, our priority is accessibility to a delightful food delivery experience for all. From Melbourne, we aim to continue our expansion efforts throughout Victoria and Australia through the remainder of 2019 and into 2020,” Stephens added.

Nando’s CEO, Craig Mason says, “Nando’s is a great choice when you’re wanting something tasty but not keen to cook. With over 80 restaurants across the city and outer suburbs, we’re excited to be partnering with DoorDash to offer our customers even more flexibility around how they enjoy their favourite meal.”

Bay City Burrito’s Owner and Chief Burrito Designer, Gary Mink says, “At Bay City Burrito, we pride ourselves on the quality of our ingredients, whether it is our locally-sourced produce or imported tortillas. It has been refreshing working with the team at DoorDash who have taken the time to understand my business and set me up for success on their platform to get incremental orders from both their delivery and pick-up product.”