Washington County TCAP: Food security and transportation responsiveness during COVID-19
In September, Washington County mobility manager Sheila Holbrook-White discussed the response of the Twin Cities Area Transit Coordination Assistance Project (TCAP) to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in March. At that time, Washington County recognized the importance of responding to food insecurity and created a three-person food-security unit that leveraged existing relationships built through the Washington County Transportation Consortium, including the Metropolitan Council Transit Link and the Washington County Community Development Agency. The mobility manager serves as the human hub, connecting individuals who need food shelf deliveries to the Transit Link contracted provider and supporting the connection between grocery purchases and individuals who order food.
The county sent a flyer with information about the grocery and food-shelf deliveries to about 10,000 homes of people with disabilities, older adults, and individuals who live at a Community Development Agency property in the county. As of September 1, 2020, Transit Link had provided food shelf deliveries to 2,689 individuals in the county — 52% of those who had requested an emergency food-shelf delivery never before had requested assistance from a food shelf.
As mobility manager, Sheila Holbrook-White also is connecting with community partners to make sure they know which volunteer-driver programs are operating and which community circulators still are providing rides. The goal is to ensure transportation remains available for those who rely on it.