AUSTIN (KXAN) — Drivers for the community-led delivery service, Runner City, brought food and necessities to thousands of Austinites struggling through the winter storm.
The service operates off a Facebook group where “runners” connect one-on-one with consumers to complete deliveries, shopping and “odd jobs” for tips.
The founder of the local delivery service, Andy Kaminski, posted on the Facebook page two weeks ago asking for winter weather wear donations for those experiencing homelessness. As the weather intensified, the group’s efforts to help the community did too.
The runners were able to provide 15,000 meals during the storm by partnering with the restaurants The Lighthouse Cuisine and Moma Noy’s Kitchen, according to the “Runner City – Request a Delivery” Facebook group.
The Facebook group said Moma Noy’s Kitchen provided the last meal Sunday evening for many people unsheltered in downtown Austin. Some people in the group used the page to offer runners meals to pick up and distribute to those in need. Others prepaid for meals to donate from restaurants.
During the worst of the storm, Runner City got hotel rooms for more than 100 people unsheltered in the city.
“We were out there fishing people out of their tents and bringing ‘em here while it was freezing cold,” Kaminski said. “It was traumatic, but we did it and that’s all that matters.”
When the water went out, Runner City hired local barbers to cut hair in a makeshift mobile salon. There, they offered free hair washes and beard trims for unsheltered members of the community.
“We want to pamper these guys before they head back to their camps,” Kaminski wrote on Facebook.
Runner City plans to use its remaining donation money to replace items such as blankets and tents damaged in the storm.