The country’s largest domestic hunger relief program announced that it’s establishing the COVID-19 Response Fund to help food banks across the U.S..
Feeding America, which has a network of 200 food banks nationwide, says the $2.65 million fund will “enable food banks to secure the resources they need to serve the most vulnerable members of the community during this difficult time.”
Food insecure households are likely more susceptible to COVID-19 (the coronavirus), according to a press release, because of a lesser access to adequate health care, lowered immune systems, bias, and lack of information.
To donate: FeedingAmerica.org
But that’s not all: School closures and job disruptions are expected to put even more pressure on community food banks.
Per the most recent USDA food security report, more than 37 million people (11 million of whom are children) are food insecure. This means they lack consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life.
“Our first priority is the millions of individuals, families and seniors who rely on food banks for help,” said Feeding America CEO Claire Babineaux-Fontenot in a release. “Our member food banks are always there to help throughout the year and in times of disaster. This fund will advance their ability to respond efficiently and effectively in their communities so that food is not added to the list of worries for families during this pandemic.” Babineaux-Fontenot added, “We cannot do it alone.”
Member food banks have started shifting operations to prevent spreading the disease. More mobile or “drive thru” distributions are being added wherever possible.
“In addition, food banks are working with partner food pantries and meal programs to minimize the risk of spreading the disease by scheduling appointments and suggesting that only one member of the household visit the pantry or distribution site in order to decrease the number of people congregating in one place,” the release states.