On behalf of Feeding the Carolinas and its member NC Feeding America Food Banks, we are grateful for the ways in which our community is coming together like never before to ensure every individual and family has the resources needed to supply their basic needs.
As the primary source for food for thousands of food assistance programs (pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and meal programs for children and older adults), we have seen a significant increase in the need for food assistance, amounting to an average 60% increase in demand.
The emergency food system is a critical component of our nation’s food supply. During this time of unprecedented uncertainty and change, food pantries are staying open and shifting their operations to continue the mission of nourishing their communities while keeping communities safe.
“Our Feeding America Food Banks reach every county in North Carolina and need your help during these unprecedented times,” shared Mike Darrow, Executive Director of Feeding the Carolinas. “Whether by donating or volunteering, our food banks appreciate people joining us as we work hard to provide food for those impacted by this pandemic. Together we will weather this storm.”
Here are some ways you can support your local Food Bank:
- Donate funds – your gifts will be put to use immediately to provide food for neighbors in need.
- Donate time – the majority of the food banks and their partners are still accepting volunteers. They have screening protocol and safety measures in place to promote a safe volunteering environment (more details below). Personal protective equipment (masks) will be provided as supplies last, consider bringing your own if you are able.
- Donate food – food banks (as well as many local food pantries and other emergency food providers) are still accepting all forms of shelf-stable food in addition to fresh produce from local farms. If you are donating fresh produce, consider donating directly to a food pantry by:
- finding your nearest Feeding America Food Bank (listed below),
- selecting the “Find Food” option to find the closest direct food provider (food pantry, community kitchen, shelter), and
- calling the food pantry to coordinate drop-off or pick-up of produce. Please be sure to remember appropriate social distancing while delivering food.
Visit feedingthecarolinas.org/locations to find your local Feeding America Food Bank. You can use the “Find Food” option to locate help or support your nearest emergency food provider (food pantry, community meal site, shelter).
The partner network of the NC Feeding America Food Banks are taking the following critical health and safety measures in response to COVID-19:
- Curbside, drive-through services for pantry customers to stay in their car and receive prepacked food boxes;
- Adjusted hours of operation to limit the number of cars and interactions at one time;
- Fewer than 5 staff or volunteers interacting at a time and they are adhering to social distancing guidelines of more than 6 feet between persons;
- All staff and volunteers are extensively screened for potential exposure to the virus;
- Practicing strategic cleaning procedures including sanitizing all door handles, tables, light switches, electronics, pens, and surfaces after use and every hour and staff/volunteers washing their hands as required and every 30 minutes; and
- Communicating regularly with local health officials.