A Letter From Paul | Solutions in Place to Continue to Serve the Community

March 10, 2020

The Food Bank continues to do the day-in and day-out job of making sure vulnerable neighbors get the food they need. Now, we are putting solutions in place, one by one, to be able to continue providing food and helping our community prepare for whatever challenges the Coronavirus (COVID-19) presents.

Sending out extra food

We know there may be disruptions that keep us from delivering food or keep clients from getting to pantries. So we’ve begun purchasing and sending out a few additional pounds of shelf-stable food each week. We are asking clients to set that food aside so they will build up a small surplus in their kitchens to get them through in case they can’t attend a pantry for any reason. Unfortunately, we can’t wait for donations of shelf-stable food, we have to make sure that seniors, families, and homebound neighbors will have what they need now.

Nutritious food is critical to maintaining good health, so in many ways, it is more important than ever to reach people in need. We rely on our 275 pantries to distribute the food, and we know at some point they might have to close. Therefore, we are working on a plan with city officials to identify backup distribution sites. As long as there is no threat to the safety of our staff, we’ll continue to carry out our mission.

Buying cased and prepacked food

We have had a lot of volunteer cancellations lately. It’s understandable. Almost 50% of our volunteers for March have canceled — that is a huge impact on our ability to sort and pack food. To counter that we are spending more to buy our produce cased instead of in bulk and looking to buy some prepackaged rice. The cost is higher, but we need to make sure our distribution is uninterrupted. We need help! To protect the health of our volunteers we are very mindful about spacing between volunteers, we have increased cleaning, and made hand sanitizer available throughout the facility. If you are able, please sign up for a volunteer shift here.

If you or someone you know needs food assistance, we are here to help. Please visit our Food Locator or call 211 for access to our pantry network. If you want to support our mission, please donate here.

With gratitude,
Paul Ash
Executive Director