HelpBerkeley: COVID-19

Gavin Newsom expands HelpBerkeley.org to the rest of the state!

Hello HelpBerkeley members, consumers, drivers, dispatchers, and all volunteers with HelpBerkeley.org!

I was kidding a little bit about the headline—but not so much :slight_smile:

This morning, the governor of California, Gavin Newsom, announced a massive program aimed to provide free meals to many seniors and persons at risk to COVID-19.

We love this new program! It is largely covering what we have been trying to do, on a much smaller scale, for the past 4 weeks, and we think it is totally needed!

As for us: we will keep on going full speed ahead to serve all those people who depend on us, and we will do all we can to provide great service. As this new program ramps up, we will work with the city of Berkeley and our restaurant partners to make sure there is no overlap.

Thanks so much for trusting us and for volunteering with us: please let us know what you think!

Some details of the new program:


In summary, anyone is eligible who is above 65, “at high risk of exposure to COVID-19,” immuno-compromised, or has been directly exposed—and whose income is below 600% of federal poverty guidelines (i.e. roughly $75K for one person, $100K for two). The person (or the restaurant?) will then “be reimbursed for up to $16 for breakfast, $17 for lunch and $28 for dinner.” Eligible restaurants will be determined by the local governments and must follow some dietary guidelines.

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I read that this morning and thought, “Wow, it’s a statewide HelpBerkeley.org”! Thanks for the terrific idea and all the incredible work of the last month and getting us on board. I’m really glad to be part of it.

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I fell for the headline. Who knows —help berkeley May be asked to join in. Congratulations :blush::broccoli::butterfly:

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Michel,

Will there be a separate list of restaurants for Newsom’s program? And how does one prove income?

Barbara Fisher

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Hi,
The new California program reimburses for meals. Help Berkeley doesn’t, does it?

We had our first meals tonight and it was good, but it would be really helpful to be reimbursed.

André Rivers

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Yes, there will be some approved restaurants. It is not clear yet how the details of the program will evolve. We are working with the city to find out as soon as possible.

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Yes, the new CA program reimburses for meals: it is not quite clear exactly how yet.

We do not reimburse for meals. We are not the affiliated with the government of CA: we are a volunteer organization that tries to make it possible for people at risk for COVID-19 to have access to very affordable meals.

I am glad you enjoyed them. This is what we try to provide.

Yes, I could not agree more :slight_smile: For that, you will have to work with Gavin Newsom’s program, and we will do the best we can to help you all find out about the details of this program.

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Hi Michel ,

Very hilarious indeed :smile: . I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank you on behalf of a few of my friends & myself for your partnering with local restaurants to make delicious food available for us at an extremely low price.

Gov. Newsom’s program would cut off people who are slightly above the federal poverty guidelines who desperately do need this service you are providing. This group is unable to move around much due to debilitating pain in the body due to illness , let alone cook which includes me :((

May the sweet & merciful Lord bless you all for coming up with this ingenious idea & for all the selfless volunteers for delivering the food at the end of a long day at work.

Please stay safe.

With a world of thanks ,

Soon to be octogenarian ,

Sarala.

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Thank you!

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Dear Sarala: your response makes it all worthwhile! Thank you!

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will you send out an update when this program is up and running?

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Yes! We are in contact with the city and are awaiting more information. We will let everyone know as we learn more.

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Thank you for this information. Question, is the age for this new program 65? If so, will HelpBerkeley add more of a variety of restaurants for seniors who are under the age of 65? Thoughts.

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@Deb, you are right, the state program is for seniors over 65.

We keep on adding restaurants to our program, as we did this morning!

There is, however, a relationship between our number of daily orders and our number of restaurant partners: since our drivers have to visit all the restaurants every day, we have to size the number of restaurants we have to the number of daily drivers we assign and put on the road. Right now, 10 restaurants is about what we can deal with. Our user base is expanding very quickly, so we expect that we will be able to add to the restaurant list as our daily order volume goes up!

FYI, we are able to support many, many more orders every day (we can probably deliver 10x more orders than we have every day): what limits us is how we can inform those who can use our service: it is VERY hard to reach them and let them know we exist. So please let everyone you know who may find our service helpful!

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Hi Michel, is there a 1 page flyer that could be emailed to people or I could post on FB? I’ve been writing FB posts & emailing groups with urls, but a flyer would be fun to share. Please advise and Thanks to You and all the Restaurants & Drivers for continuing this valuable community service :slight_smile:

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@Luna, what do you think of this (I can attach it as a PDF):

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@MichelThouati has someone made an FB page? Outreach team?

No. We would like to but we have not had the manpower. It needs to be sustained.

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@MichelThouati I might be able to start one but I am not quite sure where the photos would come from? Happy consumers with their orders? New weekly updates on number of orders and rations (weekly data dump, maybe to showcase HB’s ability to scale up…?)

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I think what we would need is a couple of people that would be willing to keep the stream fresh. It would have to be appropriate to the subject. But we don’t have the right people to do that.

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