Click here to find your local food banks.
This is a scary time for a lot of people. And, unfortunately, part of that fear has included people over-buying groceries and produce. There’s no food shortage, suppliers just need a little extra time to catch up to the demand.
Here’s how food banks are being affected and what you need to know if you decide to volunteer at a food bank or know a family member or friend who needs to visit one.
Feeding America expects to see a rise in hunger.
- For families living paycheck to paycheck, a disruption to work, school and health like COVID-19 can make all the difference between stability and hunger.
Food banks are doing more direct distribution
- Feeding America’s 200 food banks partner with over 60,000 soup kitchens, food pantries and more to deliver food. Closures mean that food banks may need to assume the food packing and distribution responsibilities of those partners
Volunteer shortages are increasing costs
- Food banks are scrambling to hire and pay additional staff or change their operating models to backfill the decline in volunteers.
Retail food donations are declining
- Consumers are stocking up on food, which means shortages at retail establishments. That’s resulted in a drastic decline of food donations in many areas.
If you want to volunteer at a local food bank, make sure to contact your local food bank to get the most up-to-date information about volunteering.
- If you are sick or have any symptoms of a cold, the flu, or coronavirus, please do NOT go to a food bank.
- If you’ve traveled outside the US in the last 14 days, especially to one of the countries hit hardest by the virus, you may be asked not to go to some food banks.
- Some food banks may also ask about US travel within the last 14 days.
- There will be hand washing stations at all food banks. Make sure to read the directions and follow them closely as the food banks may screen people for hygiene and other precautionary steps before volunteering.
Feeding America has already launched a COVID-19 Response Fund that you can donate to by clicking the link below. They’ve seeded the fund with $2.65 million and, with school closures and lost wages stemming from COVID-19, the priority of the fund is securing food and figuring out how to distribute it for families and kids during this time. http://tiny.cc/68tglz