Frequently asked questions (click to expand)
About the Program
Who operates HelpBerkeley.org?
HelpBerkeley is operated entirely by a group of Berkeley volunteer residents, who have joined together to offer time, talent, contacts, and resources to help people impacted by COVID-19. We are trying to make meal delivery possible for individuals at risk. By partnering with local restaurants, we are helping them expand their reach and keep their operations running during this difficult period.
What is the service area of HelpBerkeley.org?
We currently serve Berkeley, Albany, and Kensington neighbors. We will look for ways to expand our program beyond Berkeley.
Does anyone profit from this venture?
The organization is entirely run by volunteers and is not for profit. It is our hope that our generous partner restaurants will be able to earn a living by providing affordable meals in this time of need.
Does HelpBerkeley.org compete with local restaurants?
Our aim is to partner, not compete, with local restaurants. We are not a full service or high-end meal delivery service. We deliver low-cost daily “rations” with limited options, always for next-day delivery.
What kind of volunteers are needed?
We need drivers and dispatchers in order to expand our service reach and capacity. Drivers are needed from about 5:30pm to 7:30pm each day. Dispatchers are needed at various times during the day to approve registrations, send out documents to explain how to use the service, and provide user support on the phone for those users who are not tech-aware. In addition, we are looking for volunteers with good knowledge of to create the delivery routes after the daily orders have been picked up from the restaurants.
How do we protect against transmission of COVID-19?
Drivers wear masks and gloves, and practice self-distancing during deliveries. Rations are placed in plastic boxes that are cleaned up after each delivery route. Here are additional guidelines we share with our volunteers and users:
How does HelpBerkeley program work?
What meals can I order? Can I order anything from the restaurant menu?
You can choose from either "normal" or "vegetarian" meal, but the menu is set by the restaurant based on their "menu of the day".
If you are following a specific diet, in the list of our restaurant partners, you will see additional information to help you choose the restaurant that best meets your diet needs. No other special requests are available at this time.
Restaurants have full control of their menu. Meals consist of tasty and satisfying portions which tend to be slightly smaller in size than normal and low on ingredients that are expensive such as protein and fresh vegetables. Each ration includes one dinner-sized and one lunch-sized meal. Here's an example of normal or vegetarian meals:
- Rice, black beans, tortillas and either pulled pork or grilled vegetables.
- Rice noodles, green onions, and broccoli with teriyaki sauce and chicken or tofu.
- Rice with a chicken and potato curry or garbanzo bean curry.
How many restaurants currently participate? Will there be more restaurants in the future?
Right now we partner with 10 Berkeley restaurants. We are constantly looking to expand these partnerships. If you run a restaurant, get in touch by filling up the form below.
When can I order meals?
HelpBerkeley partnered with restaurants for next-day meal delivery. This means that you can order meals today and you will receive them tomorrow.
Each day, you can order meals before 5pm. After this time, restaurants won't take HelpBerkeley meal orders.
Important: Make sure you are registered with our program to access the list or restaurant partners. Only approved users will be able to order meals through our program.
I already registered but can't access the restaurant list. I get an error page.
To access the restaurant list make sure that:
1. You are registered in
2. You are logged in.
3. You have received a message from our dispatcher team confirming you as "consumer". Check your email inbox and spam folders.
Our dispatchers will need a few hours to validate your information. If you JUST registered, please wait for the email confirming that you are a "consumer".
Once you check the above, please reload the page of restaurants.
If you are registered and logged in and you are waiting for more than 6 hours without a response from us, leave a message
here and our team will gladly assist you.
I can't sign up on go.helpberkeley.org
To sign up, please click here. A sign up form will appear in the middle of the page for you to fill up. Scroll down as you complete the fields until you reach the end of the form. Once you complete all the required fields, click on the button "Create New Account".
If you click there and nothing happens, please review the fields again, make sure you scroll down in the form as there are about 13 fields to complete.
Once you submit your form, you will see a message in the screen:
Now it's time to check your email inbox, look for an email from HelpBerkeley and click on the link to validate your email address. Follow the instructions in the page and this will take you to log in within go.helpberkeley.org.
Still finding trouble? Call us at
How to donate to HelpBerkeley.org
HelpBerkeley is a 501(c )(3) public charity. All donations to HelpBerkeley are tax-deductible. We deliver affordable or free meals to seniors and others in the Berkeley area who are vulnerable to COVID-19.
We are a true local grassroots organization, composed of 100% volunteers with no salaried employees. Started in March 2020, the day after the first Shelter-In-Place order, our goal is to help our direct neighbors and community. Because everything we do is done by volunteers, we are truly cost-effective.
How to donate to us where 100% of your donation reaches us:
How to donate to us with a credit or debit card (no Paypal account needed)
We will pay a transaction fee of approximately 3% on your donation.
Send us a check at: HelpBerkeley, 1009 Creston Rd, Berkeley, CA 94708
Send us money from your Paypal account using Paypal with Friends (Paypal account needed). If you want to learn how,
here are the detailed illustrated instructions.
How to donate to us using a charitable trust:
this link and follow the instructions.
Thanks so much for helping us help those who are vulnerable to COVID-19!
Our Tax-ID # is 85-2610979
We can be reached for that purpose on email at firstname.lastname@example.org
IRS Determination letter.