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COVID-19 Update – Food distribution, what we are doing, and what we need.

By March 16, 2020 No Comments

If you or someone you know needs food, and are calling from:

Santa Cruz County call our community Food Hotline at (831) 662-0991
Monterey County, call 831-758-1523
San Benito County, call (831) 637-0340

Given the escalating circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 virus, we are suspending our community volunteer program. We are grateful to the National Guard who has stepped up to help to ensure continuity of service and food distribution.

Second Harvest Food Bank is carefully monitoring developments with regards to the continuing spread of the COVID-19 virus. We are committed to our mission of working together to end hunger through healthy food, education and leadership and ensuring the health and well-being of our staff, community participants and the larger county.

WHAT WE ARE DOING

We are currently working with the school districts to set up additional food distributions, and with our partner agencies to ensure continuity of services. More information about these additional distributions will be available as they role out.

At this time, Second Harvest is following the CDC guidelines as well as the advice from Feeding America with regards to continuing services in our community. According to the CDC, “Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food”, and all volunteers and staff working with food are gloved and trained on safe food handling.

We know that schools and many businesses have been closed and food need in our community is greater than ever. If you or someone you know needs food, call our Community Food Hotline at (831) 662-0991. We can direct you to a food distribution site in your area, take an application for CalFresh (food assistance program) over the phone, and also give you up-to-date food distribution information.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

The current situation is very dynamic, and things may change with a moment’s notice, but right now the biggest needs that Second Harvest Food Bank have are:

  1. Monetary Donations: The Food Bank relies heavily on volunteer labor, which is also being affected by the governor’s recommendations to shelter at home. We are currently hiring additional temporary staffing, which will be a significant expense over the next three months. Along with staffing expenses, we are also sourcing additional food, which will increase expenses. However, our purchasing relationships mean that we can source that food at pennies on the pound.
  2. Advocacy: Contact your local and federal representatives and ask them to waive the paperwork guidelines on USDA commodities and waive the ABAWD regulations from being enacted.

We understand our role as one of the safety net services of our community and will take all practical measures to supply the community with the foods they need to thrive during this unprecedented time. For information about where to find food, call our Community Hotline at (831) 662-0991.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Center for Disease Control CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

California Department of Public Health: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/ncov2019.aspx

Santa Cruz County Health Department: https://www.santacruzhealth.org/

Bryn
Author: Bryn