COMSTOCK PARK, Mich., March 13, 2020 — Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Feeding America West Michigan is making modifications to its distribution methods in order to effectively serve those in need.
The food bank is encouraging its 800+ partner agencies to continue distributing food, while taking precautions that will reduce unnecessary contact and group congregation.
Traditional pantries are encouraged to create family-sized food boxes that neighbors can pick up “grab and go” style, instead of “shopping” for items. Food bank staff is identifying items needed for these boxes. Agencies that host Mobile Food Pantries are encouraged to host drive-through distributions, or to pre-pack items for distribution.
The food bank is coordinating efforts with community organizations and schools to ensure all activities are aligned to best serve neighbors.
“We acknowledge that many neighbors may struggle to feed their families during this difficult time, especially with schools being closed,” said President and CEO Ken Estelle. “The food bank and our partners will do everything we can to ensure community members have the food they need, while encouraging everyone involved to take appropriate precautions.”
In an effort to limit the number of people coming in and out of the food bank, large-group volunteering is suspended until April. However, regular volunteers are encouraged to continue their work to help keep food moving.
The food bank is also implementing increased sanitation processes and asks staff to stay home if they are sick.
Volunteers, agency partners and staff members alike are encouraged to follow the guidelines set in place by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and look to them or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for reputable information and updates.
About Feeding America West Michigan
Serving local families in need since 1981, Feeding America West Michigan reclaims safe surplus food from farmers, manufacturers, distributors and retailers. That food is distributed through a network of more than 800 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and other hunger-relief agencies in 40 of Michigan’s 83 counties from the Indiana border through the Upper Peninsula.