Doorstep delivery

River Vale resident organizes food delivery service

Nupur Karnik, Staff Writer

During the coronavirus pandemic, local residents have been scared to shop for essentials like groceries. 

As the director of food and lunch programming for the River Vale PTA, River Vale resident Elisha Fischbein has developed a solution to ease the fear in the community.

“It clicked to me that I should do it through the program we use to order our normal lunches,” Fischbein said. “I hope that this program is helping those in need as long as social distancing is recommended and people are staying home.”

Fischbein uses Boonli, a third-party service used by the PTA for school lunches, to allow people to order fresh produce, deli items, and restaurant meals to their doorstep or curbside pickup. To do so, she adds items to a menu that are available by restaurant vendors who normally participate in the lunch program.

“We’re donating some of the money to the River Vale food pantry, and we’re also going to help the first responders,” Fischbein

Nupur Karnik
Restaurants and grocery stores are able to deliver food directly to customers’ doorsteps. The program was created through Boonli, a third-party service used by the PTA for school lunches.

said. “I’ve been adding a couple of cents, maybe two or three, to each item so that we can gain a small profit to donate and help those in need during this pandemic.”

Fischbein had the program up and running within three days, and fresh produce deliveries from Marvel Home Fresh started around two days after. Manny Galeano of Marvel Produce in Valley Cottage, New York, immediately agreed to the idea when contacted by Fischbein. 

“We are truly honored to be able to provide such a service and plan to continue doing so well after these difficult times pass,” Galeano said.

Marvel Produce delivers on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for River Vale residents, and Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays for residents from other towns throughout Bergen and Rockland counties.

“We feel our service offers a safe and reliable way to continue to access fresh, healthy food products from the safety of their homes,” Galeano said.

In the past, Marvel Produce, as well as FarmLind Produce in River Vale, had only done deliveries in bulk to grocery stores and restaurants. However, they now deliver small quantities of fruits and vegetables to people’s doorsteps. 

“In our first two delivery days, we delivered over 10,000 items to over 200 homes with 99% accuracy,” said Matthew Lind, owner of FarmLind Produce. “If the community is supportive of continuing this after things go back to normal, then we will make it a priority to continue to support the community.”

Local restaurant owners are also participating, such as Hold My Knots in Hillsdale which normally delivers pizza and burgers to the River Vale schools, and Dibari’s Catering in River Vale. 

“During the pandemic, for the lunch and dinner specials we are doing curbside pickup and contactless delivery each week on specific days,” said Shayna Minuto, Hold My Knots co-founder.

Vendors have received positive feedback from customers, even with changes to how business is normally run. 

“Our specialty has been off-premise catering events. This change in routine has been an easy one for us. That being said it is definitely different than how we have done business in the recent past,” said Anthony DiBari of DiBari’s Catering.

Fischbein said she hopes the program will continue over the summer until the start of the 2020-2021 school year. 

“My plan is to keep [the program] going for as long as there is no school,” Fischbein said.