Click here for FAQs for Food Pantry Deliveries.
What happens after I put in a request?
Our technology immediately goes to work! After you put in a request for a delivery, Nesterly will reach out to the Be Kind RI volunteer community. Once we are able to find a compatible volunteer, they will contact you directly via email or phone to facilitate the pick-up/delivery. Food pantry deliveries may require a few more pieces of information based on availability of food at each pantry location.
How long do deliveries take?
We try to fulfill deliveries within 1-3 days. We will contact you if we are unable to fulfill your delivery in that time.
Who is eligible to receive deliveries?
Anyone who is at risk and must maintain social distancing as a result of COVID-19 is eligible to receive deliveries in our operating region. To sign up to receive deliveries, you must provide your name, phone number, address and a list of items you’d like delivered. Alternative language: Anyone who is at-risk or older adult and must maintain social distancing as a result of COVID-19 is eligible to receive deliveries in Rhode Island. To sign up to receive deliveries, requesters must provide their full name, phone number, address and a list of items they would like delivered. Deliveries through this program will only be made to addresses in Rhode Island. The eligibility criteria will be re-evaluated after the first year of the program.
Can I submit a request on someone’s behalf?
Oh, we love your kind heart! Yes, you can submit a request for a delivery on someone else’s behalf. Use the form to input the request and make sure the contact phone number is the number of the person best-equipped to coordinate details with the volunteer. You can also give us a call at (877) 958-8785 and we can assist you.
Can I receive a delivery from a local food pantry?
Yes, you can request for a volunteer to pick-up and deliver goods from a local food pantry. Here is a current list of participating pantries. When filling out the request form, please include the name, address, phone number, and hours of operation of the nearest, available pantry to your home. There will be a few additional questions required by pantries such as the full name of head of household, if not the requestor, number of people in the household, and if there are any food allergies to ensure the food meets the household needs.
RI Food Pantry
Address: 200 Niantic Avenue, Providence RI
Phone number: 401-230-6325
Hours of operation: Wednesday through Friday from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
What if I am experiencing symptoms of COVID-19?
If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, we ask that you not reimburse your volunteer in cash but through Venmo or another payment app. You can also call ahead to the store to place the order and pay with your credit card over the phone, letting them know that a volunteer will be coming by to pick up the items on your behalf.
All deliveries should be arranged to be contactless. However, if you are requesting food delivery due to being under quarantine or isolation because of COVID-19 you must arrange for a contactless delivery for the safety of the volunteer. Provide a drop-off location for items to the volunteer and if you need to exchange funds this should be done electronically if possible.
Can I pay for my delivery with SNAP/EBT?
There are several services that allow for the online purchase and/or delivery of items purchased with SNAP benefits: 1) Amazon, 2) participating Walmarts and 3) Cartwheel RI (Providence area only). If the service you use does not provide delivery you can purchase your groceries from them and coordinate with your volunteer for delivery. Please remember that you should never share your SNAP/EBT card with a volunteer.
Should I tip my volunteer?
No, our volunteers are spreading kindness and don’t expect a tip.
How do you guarantee volunteers do not have COVID-19?
We cannot guarantee that every volunteer does not have the virus, however, we have implemented guidelines to help minimize risk. All volunteers must confirm that they feel healthy, display no symptoms of COVID-19, have not traveled out of the country or come in contact with a sick person in the past 14 days. All deliveries should be coordinated to be contact-less as much as possible.
Is my information kept private?
Absolutely. We take privacy of your personal information very seriously. Your information will not be publicly visible and we will only share the contact information you provide with the volunteer who fulfills your delivery or friendly check-in.
Who is eligible to volunteer for deliveries?
To volunteer for deliveries with Be Kind RI, you must feel healthy, display no symptoms of COVID-19, have not traveled out of the country or come in contact with a sick person in the past 14 days. You’ll need to be able to lift about 30 lbs, as groceries and food packages may be heavy. You must also live or have access to our operating region. If you intend to use your car for deliveries, you must have a valid driver’s license and active vehicle insurance.
Do I have to go through a background check?
If you are making a delivery in the state of RI, you will need to go through a one-time free background check. The whole process will just take a couple of minutes.
As soon as you accept a request with a required background check you will be prompted to submit your information securely through Checkr, a SOC 2 type II compliant, approved third-party service. You can then contact the recipient to coordinate the delivery.
What happens after I sign up?
Once you sign up, you will receive a text asking if you are available to fulfill a request. Upon your confirmation, we will share information and instructions for you to directly contact your recipient. After you fulfill the request, click the button “Complete” on the acceptance page.
What if I can’t complete a request?
No pressure! If you can’t fulfill the request, you are able to cancel at any time. To cancel, click on the link provided in your text message and indicate by selecting the blue button “Cancel”. You can also send us an email at email@example.com. Additionally, if you no longer want to receive text messages, there is an option to reply ‘Stop’ which will unsubscribe you. To reactivate text messaging, please reach out to us via email.
How do I stop receiving requests?
We hate to see you go! To stop receiving request notifications via SMS, simply reply ‘STOP’ and you will be unsubscribed.
Is there an expected turnaround time on deliveries?
Yes. We ask that you not accept a delivery request if you can’t complete it in the next 24 hours. If you’re unable to commit to the delivery in that time, you can always cancel. You’ll be reaching out to your recipient directly to coordinate a time that works for you both.
What is the delivery protocol?
We urge all our participants to abide by the CDC safety guidelines when completing deliveries.
Clean or sanitize your hands before, after and during handling the items in your delivery. Wear gloves and a face covering throughout your delivery, and use self-checkout where available.
- Drop off the delivery at your recipient’s door, and ring their doorbell or call them to let them know the items are there. NEVER enter a recipient’s home.
- Be sure to include the receipt in the bag.
- If the items have not already been paid for, recipients can pay volunteers via cash, check, or an automated payment system of their choice.
- Practice social distancing at all times (walking on the street or in the store).
What if the delivery or check-in does not go as planned?
That happens sometimes. If your delivery or check-in call doesn’t go as expected, or you are worried about the general well-being of your requestor, please reach out to us at 855-985-8785 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Our team is available Monday – Friday from 9am to 5pm.
If you encounter someone who needs urgent medical attention or you feel unsafe in the situation, please call 911.
Support for Be Kind RI?
Be Kind RI is was launched in Rhode Island through an innovative partnership between Age-Friendly Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Community Food Bank and Family Service of Rhode Island (FSRI), ) and Nesterly, a social enterprise that connects empty nesters with people looking for affordable housing. After successfully launching a delivery and social support service in response to Covid-19 with the City of Boston, Nesterly brings their innovative Good Neighbors technology to the State of Rhode Island.
Where is Be Kind RI operating?
We are currently facilitating deliveries across all 39 towns and cities in Rhode Island.
What services can a Be Kind RI volunteer help with?
Right now, volunteers can help deliver food and other critical needs from Be Safe RI, a nearby grocery store or pharmacy, or a participating food pantry. Additional service types may be added in future iterations of the program.
Is there a fee to use Be Kind RI?
Kindness is free, and so is Be Kind RI. There is no fee for volunteers or requestors to use the service.
How do I pay for deliveries?
- There are a number of ways you can pay for deliveries:
- The recipient can call ahead to the store to place the order and pay with their bank card over the phone, letting them know that a volunteer will be coming to pick up the items on their behalf.
- Alternatively, the recipient can pay the volunteers after the delivery via cash, check, or an automated payment system of their choice (e.g. Venmo, PayPal).
- If you are delivering from a food pantry, no payment is necessary.
What if I cannot pay for deliveries?
If you cannot pay for food or supplies, or you are submitting a request on behalf of someone who cannot pay, please visit the list of participating food pantries to identify one in your area and submit a request to receive a delivery from that pantry. Please use the request form (instructions here) to provide all the necessary information the volunteer will need, including but not limited to the address and relevant pick-up hours and any special instructions. For instance, you may need to call the organization ahead to confirm availability and indicate that you’ll be using a proxy for pick up.
How can I help spread the word?
You can help support at risk individuals by sharing information in your community and to your digital network.
- Share this information with a friend or neighbor next time you speak.
- Post a note of support on NextDoor.
- Share information about Be Kind RI on social media and be sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook.
- Print out our flyer and post in public spaces (apartment complex lobby, grocery store bulletin board, laundromat, etc.) Please note: If posting in a store, receive consent from the property owner first.