As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many people are experiencing limited access to food, resources, and the supplies that they need on a daily basis.
Nonprofits in the Phoenix East Valley are working to distribute food, personal protective equipment (PPE), and supplies to those who need them most. Some are doing that with the help of self-driving technology company Waymo.
Earlier this year, Waymo started donating the use of some of the vehicles in its local delivery Waymo Via fleet to make deliveries on behalf of nonprofits. Waymo is moving a variety of supplies across the East Valley for multiple nonprofit organizations, including the Foundation for Blind Children (FBC) and ICAN.
ICAN, an organization focused on providing after school programming for youth and teens, has delivered more than 150 activity kits and backpacks with the help of Waymo.
“Waymo made it possible for us to get these kits to families who don’t have vehicles or can’t get to the facility,” said Shelby Pedersen, CEO for ICAN, in an interview “Sonoran Living” on ABC15.
Waymo also delivered learning equipment and braille-transcribed books to teachers at the start of the school year on behalf of FBC. FBC provides services and programs to those who are blind or have limited vision.
“Waymo helped us with delivering braille textbooks, braille homework, and a lot of technology,” said Marc Ashton, CEO of FBC.
Waymo has delivered PPE, food, and school supplies on behalf of organizations and nonprofits since June. Waymo donated and delivered more than 300 face shields to Valleywise Health and partnered with Valley of the Sun United Way to deliver 700 masks and shields to senior and community nonprofit agencies.
The self-driving technology company also joined forces with Valley of the Sun United Way and the United Food Bank to, collectively, transport more than 1,000 pounds of food to community agencies that serve those in need, including homeless students, families in transition, and victims of domestic violence and their children. A partnership with AZCEND, a food bank in Chandler, has led to more than 730 meals -- and counting -- being delivered to the Gilbert Senior Center.
Both Pedersen and Ashton told ABC15 that they plan to continue to work with Waymo to get essential supplies out to their communities in the future.
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