We are now struggling with the new reality in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. With a national emergency now declared, local school districts are closed, and now, our local governments have announced a ‘shelter in place’ order for all residents.
The Food Bank is still fully operational. As indicated in Mayor Breed’s press release, food banks are an essential service provider, and we must continue our work to distribute food to the community. Now, more than ever, our continued efforts are critical to ensure that our most vulnerable neighbors get access to the food they need to weather the pandemic.
Pop-Up food pantries
We are working with San Francisco and Marin school districts to host pop-up food pantries at schools that are offering to-go meals for students. When students and parents pick up their breakfast and lunch, they will also be able to get pre-bagged groceries to take home. This will help make sure families have the food they need.
To our existing pantry network, we continue to purchase and send out additional shelf-stable food items each week for participants to set aside in case they can’t get to a pantry for any reason.
Need for volunteers in the community
Our operations are being called upon to support our community’s most vulnerable. We cannot provide these services without volunteers. We anticipate that we’ll need additional help at our pop-up food pantries. Please see our special volunteer signup page to help us during this pressing time: Hunger Doesn’t Take a Break – Please Volunteer.
We understand that there are concerns about volunteering amid the COVID-19 outbreak, and we take these concerns seriously. To protect the health of our volunteers, and staff, we have made changes to our volunteer program: reducing the number of volunteers at each shift and cutting non-essential projects.
Safety and health first
We are in close contact with public health officials and are following their recommendations. In response to the COVID-19 situation, we have doubled down on cleaning, hand washing, and, of course, we have hand sanitizer and disinfectant readily available. The volunteers continue to use gloves, and we are mindful of social distancing per CDC guidelines. As always, the safety of our staff, partners, volunteers, and participants are of the utmost importance.
We encourage you to consider your own health and well-being before deciding whether or not to volunteer.
During this time, you can also support our work to keep our community healthy and ensure that our neighbors in need have enough food by making a donation.
If you, or anyone you know, are in need of food, please use the food locator.