A Note on COVID-19 from FTC
Dear Friends of Feeding the Carolinas:
I am writing on behalf of Feeding the Carolinas and our 10 Feeding America Food Bank members to update you on our Food Bank network’s plan as it relates to the coronavirus (COVID-19). This pandemic is evolving by the hour, and I want to affirm that our top priority is the safety and well-being of our volunteers and staff, our partner programs, and of course the communities we serve.
First and foremost: please take care of yourself both physically and mentally. Our personal lives, our professional lives and our world in general are stressful enough without a global health crisis, so we completely understand that this can all be quite a bit to handle at such a rapid pace. The work we all do is certainly important (especially at times like this), but we can’t do our collective work if we aren’t taking care of our own health.
While none of us know exactly what will occur over the next few weeks, we did want to share the following information with you:
- No person who has traveled internationally within the last 14 days or any person experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or having been in direct contact with an infected person, will be allowed into any of our facilities until further notice. Please see: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html.
- All schools in North Carolina are now closed for at least 2 weeks. With that, the Feeding the Carolinas network of Food Banks are taking action to help make sure our kids are fed, implementing plans that were already being discussed. Rest assured that we will do what is needed to help feed children – and their families – who count on school breakfast and lunch for their daily meals, and on our backpack programs for weekends.
- With school closures in both North and South Carolina, and with all the other closures and shutdowns, we are experiencing and will experience ever-growing demand for food at our partner pantries and food bank sites. We already are working with our partners to develop low/no contact food distributions for people experiencing a food crisis, and how we can supply even more food to our friends and neighbors in need.
- Additionally, all of our member Food Banks are seeing a dramatic decrease in our volunteers. While we understand, volunteers are our lifeblood in our work to fight food insecurity and provide food in crisis situations like this. To combat this, we are developing plans to request lower risk volunteers like college students and others who are symptom free. If you are able to volunteer, you can go to our website, where you can find your local food bank’s volunteer page.
- Financial donations are crucial to our ability to meet the need. You can also go to our website to find your local food bank’s donation page.
To volunteer or donate to your local food bank, please click on “Find a Food Bank” above or go to the website of your local food bank. To support Feeding the Carolinas and our work assisting our food banks, please donate here.
These are uneasy times for all of us and for those we serve. The one thing that we do know, though, is that our communities always come together to support our neighbors in need… and this time will be no different. While we expect to experience significant financial and emotional strain in the weeks ahead, our commitment to those we serve remains strong.
We will continue to keep you posted as this crisis unfolds and as we learn more. For up-to-date information please visit our COVID-19 page on this website.
Lastly – to all in our beloved Palmetto and Old North states, be reminded that in good times and more challenging times, one constant is the presence of your Carolinas food banks. We are and will be there for you.
Mike Darrow, Executive Director
Feeding the Carolinas
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