LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — “Delivering with Dignity” started as an emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic. After launching last month, the program has provided nearly 20,000 meals. 

“When everyone does a little, it’s amazing what we can do as a community,” said Punam Mathur, co-founder of Delivering with Dignity. “We had to invent a thing it wasn’t easy. It’s been an army of people working around the clock.”

Mathur says more than 20 nonprofits are partnered with the organization. Those agencies are identifying the most vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic, and a group of volunteers known as “food heroes” drop off the meals to homes.

The program also keeps people on the payroll at the four local restaurants that prepare the meals — Honey Salt, Graffiti Bao, Valencian Gold and The Jolt Coffee Co. 

“We’ve saved 45 jobs in the last month we’ve been doing this,” Mathur said.

“I’m thankful, I still have a job,” said Fatima Zaldana, server at Honey Salt. “I know some families out there don’t have anything.”

They are meeting a demand while also ensuring fresh produce from the roughly 180 Clark County School District gardens do not go to waste.

“Before harvest, schools closed and this past week they would’ve been doing that amazing large full scale farmer’s market,” Mathur said.

Instead, restaurants in the program plan to use the vegetables in roughly 800 meals — a partnership supporting a farm to table experience. 

“There are some students who may actually have planted the seed and then enjoy it at their family’s dinner table,” Mathur added.

Delivering with Dignity has raised more than $220,000 so far from more than 100 donors. For more information on the program, CLICK HERE.