Photo by Tristan Djaafar
By: Meghan Monson, Homeownership Programs Coordinator
For the past few weeks, volunteer cyclists in Allston and Brighton have been making bike deliveries to their neighbors in need. Because of the extra risk posed to seniors and people with health conditions by the coronavirus, many people now find themselves unable to leave their homes and therefore lacking access to the food and supplies they need.
As the Executive Director of the Allston Brighton Health Collaborative, Anna Leslie was very tuned in to needs arising in the neighborhood as people began to be cautioned to stay at home. Anna has been hosting neighborhood response conferences several times weekly to foster a network of communication amongst local non-profit and healthcare organizations. One day in response to hearing of residents unable to access their usual distribution of food, she brainstormed ways to meet this need and said the words “bike brigade,” envisioning a group that would deliver items by bike. I heard this and it clicked in my head that as a board member of CommonWheels, Allston Brighton’s neighborhood bicycle collective, I had the connection to help bring this vision to life.
Together along with Tristan Djaafar, Program Director of CommonWheels, we made a plan to tap into the network of neighborhood cyclists that CommonWheels maintains. I knew we could get in touch with at least a handful of people that would want to help. We now have over 20 volunteers signed up to make deliveries. We currently pick up mostly from the food pantry at the ABCD Allston Brighton Neighborhood Opportunity Center (thank you ABCD!), but we are growing the capacity to make deliveries from other organizations.
If you know of someone in need of food or supplies, please email Anna at [email protected].
If you would like to volunteer please fill out the form at: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeCd8D92mtbMbBDrF0iaHo7hKXnZXZQLsyv-G5SR_jiDg9N7w/viewform