MilkRun delivery connects Portland metro with local food

Coronavirus

Julia Niiro founded the service that delivers locally grown food

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Business is booming at MilkRun, a Southeast Portland grocery delivery service. Boxes of food for home delivery have gone from about 400 weekly to nearly 2500 this week as the pandemic continues.

About 70% of the groceries they deliver — everything from eggs to greens, meats, milk, cheese and bread — are made within 35 miles of Portland.

Julia Niiro, who founded MilkRun, said she began this business as a small farmer who recognized the importance of getting food directly to consumers “who really want it and are willing to pay a good price but the key was how to actually distribute that.”

She said their distribution model has not changed. The coronavirus world in which we live has changed not only our routines but hopefully, she said, people’s focus on doing good for local farmers and growers.

It’s been good for small growers, like a woman who brought homemade almond milk that will be delivered in the coming days.

In the last 8 days, Niiro hired 22 people to organize grocery delivery. Many of the new employeer are food service workers idled by restaurant closures.

“We have chefs driving for us, we have kitchen managers from some of Portland’s top restaurants and bars right now,” she said. “Everybody came together.”

MilkRun has been a great way to bypass the global and national supply chain and replace it with a hyper-local supply chain that gets Portland area residents locally made food. And that keeps local farmers and growers who supply it in business during a very difficult time.

Continuing Coverage: Coronavirus

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