HelpBerkeley: COVID-19

Help us reach out to those who need us

Friends and neighbors:

We have expanded very quickly over the past 5 weeks: from the 22 we were on 4/1, there now are more than 400 of us at, between our wonderful consumers and our amazing volunteers! As for our deliveries, starting from a few meals a day on 4/1, they are now reaching 80 meals per day, with a good number of drivers on the road every day!

And yet we could still deliver many times more. Our newest members tell us they had never heard of us: despite our efforts to reach out, the large majority of those who need us don’t know we exist.

So we want to try to reach out harder. Soon we will share some of our new outreach programs with you, and ask if you want to help us in letting those who need us know about us: networking with senior and medical support organizations, flier and poster campaigns, NextDoor discussions, Facebook and other electronic media… We hope that you will be ready to help us!

One project that we are starting right now is our “Be Viral” campaign: it seems oddly appropriate in these times of pandemics! In the next few days, we will send some of you emails (not website notifications like this one, but real emails), asking you to let five of your friends know about us, asking them in turn to inform five of their friends again. Who knows: in a world with six degrees of separation, in six generations of this email, possibly all of Berkeley will know about us:-) Thanks in advance for your help!

In site news, you may notice some slight changes to our the website looks today:

  • our old “Support” category (for Consumers only) is now called “Restaurants” and includes all restaurant feedback, as well as any questions related to (a) specific restaurants and (b) what happened to your order.

  • our old “General” category is now called “Community”, and includes an “All” subcategory for both volunteers and consumers to share and discuss news, and have access to the same outreach programs.

  • All general questions about how to order, or any other process issue, are now in “Questions”, under “Community”.

We hope that these changes will make the website easier to use and navigate! Stay safe!


You are doing a great job


2 posts were split to a new topic: Signing up my mother

Thank you for your hard work and the update. I’m so glad that you ALL are here for us!

1 Like

Dear Michel,

This news about expansion all sounds great! I’d promote HelpBerkeley to other groups & individuals in community. This is such a great match to support folks in need -and- local restaurants & staff. I’m one of the people you mention who’d heard nothing about this. Luckily I saw info via Ashby Village’s May email newsletter and signed up. Wish I’d had the connection sooner.

One suggestion: “Be Viral” is not a good name for this campaign. Too confusing and contradictory against SIP focus of “Be Safe”.

I realize “Be Viral” is supposed to be funny. But considering all the confusing info & ‘fake news’ daily - and concerns (or fears) people already deal with, I would not feel comfortable advising others to “Be Viral”. Even in a good way. And could not ethically promote a “Be Viral” message during C-19 times. Especially not for HelpBerkeley’s target audience of seniors and other folks challenged with possible cognitive, physical, and other disability or existing illness due to “Virus”, or being at-risk. They may not understand the campaign’s name is a joke, rather than a health directive contrary to SIP mandates.

Please consider changing the name of HelpBerkeley’s outreach campaign; I would like to share & promote to others. I’ve already passed the website along to some of my groups.

Thanks for all that you do :hugs:

Lynn Orlando

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Hi, Michel , Have you notified all the Semior Centers in Berkeley? How about all the churches? If you need help, let me know.

Helen Schneider

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Hi @HelenS1401: the city did a dedicated email blast to senior center participants about us: it was really great! We may ask them again if they agree.

Several great volunteers contacted the largest 40 churches and synagogues. They did a wonderful job, but very few congregations actually responded. We would love more help!


Dear Lynn: you are totally right: this was intended to be tongue in cheek but we should change the name and we will!

And thanks so much for passing along a good word to others!


Hi, Michel…I have many friends in Emeryville who would love to sign up…Will you be delivering there at some point?

Hi Michel,
I’ve been searching for a 1-page info flyer in .pdf or jpg to share with others. Does something like this exist? Please advise, thank you :slight_smile:

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Hey Michel!

Given the community you’re trying to reach, although the meals come at quite a discount - it’s a bit naive to frame the meals as “super affordable” and “very affordable” - when many of the communities you’re trying to serve are very poor/low income/no income. The cost of the two meals is more than some of these folks have money to live on in a day.

With deep appreciation,
Nicolas Chang


Yes. I haven’t ordered any meals yet for that reason.

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I’d be happy to spread the word about HelpBerkeley to folks who I think would be interested. Could I have a sample email that I can edit and send out to some friends and others in my communities?