You've been redirected from to In March 2021, Mobile Payments Today became a part of Payments Dive. For the latest payments news, sign up for the daily newsletter.

Lyft pilots delivery service for food, health supplies amid COVID-19 outbreak

Lyft is getting into the food and supply delivery business. Its latest pilot program — Essential Deliveries — allows drivers at the ride-sharing service to pick up and deliver on-demand medical supplies, hygiene products, groceries, restaurant food and home essentials to government agencies, health-care providers, local nonprofits and businesses, according to a company blog. Deliveries are contact-free, and drivers will be paid in the same manner as standard ride-sharing. 

The program will provide Lyft drivers with work opportunities since social distancing restrictions mandated by the COVID-19 pandemic have drastically cut the number of people requesting transportation.

"As communities shelter-in-place, the need for items to be delivered to the doorstep is at an all-time high," Lisa Boyd, director of social impact at Lyft. "Whether its meals for high-risk seniors or medical supplies for individuals with a medical condition, Lyft's community of drivers is ready to help meet the needs of our communities while earning additional income."

The service will initially be offered in Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Orlando, Phoenix, San Francisco, San Diego, San Antonio and Seattle. 

Some of the initial participants in the program include Dole Packaged Foods, which is transferring nutritious food to senior facilities from its warehouses. Another organization, called Army of Angels, is using the on-demand service to deliver school lunches to low-income students and their families.