Pennsylvania’s Charitable Food Network Responding to Virus: Food Banks Remain Open to Serve, But Need Community Help & Support
With the continuing spread of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) nationally and daily changes taking place across the commonwealth, Pennsylvania’s charitable food network has been adopting new policies and practices to ensure the good health and safety of its clients, partners, volunteers, staff and supporters, as member agencies are on the front lines of serving families and individuals who rely on them as well as those may find themselves in need of emergency food assistance as a result of temporary loss of income. Lutheran Advocacy Ministry in Pennsylvania (LAMPa) is a partner of the Pennsylvania Charitable Food Network.
Pennsylvania’s charitable food network remains focused on limiting the risk of spread of the virus, adhering to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for keeping their employees, facilities, and the food that is distributed clean and safe. Employees, volunteers, vendors, and donors who are not feeling well have been encouraged to stay home. Where possible, employees will hold conference calls and virtual meetings while canceling events to help enforce social distancing practices. That includes fund-raisers that are essential to supporting the philanthropic mission of nonprofit food banks. Continued community support during these uncertain times will be critical.
We believe we have a responsibility to take the strongest actions possible to protect the individuals we serve, the volunteers who help us achieve our mission, and the employees who work tirelessly every day to fight hunger and provider healthy, nourishing meals to vulnerable Pennsylvanians in need. We fully recognize that this unfolding situation has everyone anxious. Each of our member food banks continue to monitor the situation, relying on state and federal updates, while employing the most effective measures to keep communities safe.
Pennsylvania’s food banks need your help. Financial support will be critical for member food banks to meet the increased need they will be facing, as well as for the purchase of additional supplies for cleaning and with help in prepacking boxes of food for delivery to partner agencies. In addition to monetary support, additional volunteer will be essential. Volunteer numbers have dropped significantly over the last week. Anyone who is healthy and able and wants to help is encouraged to reach out to their local food bank or pantry to offer assistance.