Food For Thought - Our Response To The COVID-19 Outbreak
As we face the impact of the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), Food For Thought is taking proactive steps to ensure a continuation of vital services for the starving children in our community. While there is a lot of uncertainty around the situation, we are treating it as a potential crisis and, as such, making difficult decisions and asking for your much needed support. Our focus has always and will continue to be at the crisis we face every week: childhood hunger. Food insecure students rely on our organization to provide nourishment each week of the year. As illustrated in our response to Hurricane Michael, we will be committed to our mission of serving those children.
What Food For Thought Is Doing:
- Moving From Backpacks To Single Serve Plastic & Paper Bags For Our Weekly Service. We recognize the challenge of mitigating the transfer of germs with our services therefore we are suspending the use of backpacks and shifting to disposable plastic and paper bags. The food inside of these bags will not differ from the backpacks we normally deliver. This change will help keep our students and volunteers safe.
- Our food pantries and volunteer program will follow CDC guidelines for cleaning, sanitizing, and hand washing. Our organization relies on volunteerism, with over 250 individuals donating their time to our mission each week. We are reaching out to these volunteers asking them to follow state and federal guidelines for hand washing while also asking them to stay home if they feel sick and disclose any travel out of the country, including cruises. Additionally, we are cleaning before and after volunteer shifts and offering hand sanitizer as well as a hand wash station.
- We are monitoring the guidance of our school leaders regarding closures and other directives. We are in close communication with the superintendent offices and leaders for the schools we serve. As the situation changes, we are ready to adjust our services accordingly. If schools close, we will arrange a pick up schedule for families and students to get their food. We learned a lot in responding to the aftermath of Hurricane Michael and will be able to apply those lessons to this potential crisis.
What You Can Do:
- Continue to support in any way you can. This potential crisis poses a critical challenge to our organization. We also recognize that is a challenge for a lot of the folks who support Food For Thought. We are not making specific requests for what you can give but that you just give what you can. The adage “Every little bit counts” is more true than ever. Please donate food, time, resources, or money at fftfl.org.
If you have any additional questions, please contact us at fftfl.org. We appreciate your continued support in our fight to end childhood hunger in your community.
Tiffanie Nelson, Founder & CEO, Food For Thought