Updated: Oct 25, 2021
(Fredericksburg, VA) September 24, 2021 – Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank today announced the implementation of OrderAhead, a new program that allows the convenience of online supplemental grocery ordering and scheduled pickup. The FRFB is one of only two food banks in Virginia and only 11 in the entire country to offer this cutting-edge program. This program addresses inequities in food access by offering personalized, convenient service to those in our community who may be better served by a pickup service model instead of receiving food assistance from a traditional pantry. OrderAhead will reach people in critical needs areas without easily accessible agency partners and those who are uncomfortable in going or unable to go to a food pantry.
OrderAhead enables people facing food insecurity to order food online, select a convenient time, and pick it up directly from either the FRFB warehouse or Love Thy Neighbor Pantry in King George. The program expands access to emergency food resources through a discreet and convenient click-and-collect grocery ordering system that reduces the physical and social barriers that often come with food assistance. OrderAhead will be more neighbor-centric by offering a choice in foods received, offering options about times when the services can be received, and providing specialized dietary options to support some nutritionally affected health conditions. By offering privacy, choice, and scheduling convenience, OrderAhead creates a dignified experience for people seeking food assistance.
One goal of the Order Ahead program is to mitigate the drive-through distributions by allowing our neighbors to receive quality, nutritious food on a schedule that may be more convenient, less stressful, and more discreet.
“Since the pandemic began, we have watched our neighbors waiting in line for hours at our distributions. OrderAhead simplifies the process of receiving food assistance,” said Carey Sealy, Food Sourcing & Inventory Manager at the Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank.
“It is important that as communities and cultures change that we adapt our service model to new challenges and opportunities, as we have done throughout the COVID crisis,” said Dan Maher, Food Bank President & CEO. “OrderAhead is another important example of pivoting our service model. We have seen the program be well-received during its pilot phase of implementation. We are so grateful to Walmart for their start-up funding, as well as Anthem for sponsoring this program in October and November.”
In the Central Rappahannock Region, 1 in 12 people and 1 in 10 children face food insecurity each day. That’s over 31,000 people living in households that do not have access to the food they need to thrive. Due to COVID-19, the FRFB has seen many families receiving food assistance for the first time. Feeding America estimates that the percentage of hungry children in our area is as high as 16% in some portions of our region.
For more information on OrderAhead, go to orderahead.org or call (540) 371-7666 x 146.
About Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank
Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank – Serving the Counties of Stafford, Spotsylvania, King George, Caroline, the City of Fredericksburg, and Locust Grove. The food bank secures and distributes more than 5 million pounds of donated food and grocery products annually. The FRFB supports over 160 community partners, operating more than 250 food relief programs to feed children, families, and seniors in need. For more information on the Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank, please visit http://www.fredfood.org.