Atlanta Community Food Bank prepares for bustling holiday season with COVID-19 looming – Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia 2020-11-23 16:16:12 –

(Courtesy of Atlanta Community Food Bank)

Since the beginning of the pandemic, food banks across the country have seen a dramatic increase in family visits, which is expected to increase even more during the holidays. This is already the busiest time for them, and with the unfortunate twist of COVID-19, this holiday season will be a considerable mission to complete.

More than one million people are currently hungry in Georgia, of which about 400,000 are children. The time has finally arrived and many regional food banks and regional food pantry are preparing for the bustling holiday season.

“The number of people in need of food has increased significantly,” explained Heather Moon, a spokeswoman for the Atlanta Community Food Bank. “We update the details every month, and the number of people we contact has increased by about 300 percent since the pandemic.

“Every month, we distribute 40-60% more food than this time last year, and this October is a record-breaking record,” she added. “We have distributed £ 12 million of food, equivalent to about 10 million meals. Our team has been working tirelessly to deliver food to those in need.”

The pandemic has significantly changed workloads and volunteer use, Moon said. As a result, the Atlanta Community Food Bank has adapted and modified its game plan for food distribution.

“Usually we use about 30,000 volunteers a year,” says Moon. “When we were infected with COVID-19, we stopped using volunteers, but for safety reasons we haven’t started using volunteers yet. Georgia National Guard came in and helped us. They are out in the community and warehouses for grocery.

“We distribute food to about 700 partner agencies, which are primarily in Metro Atlanta and North Georgia,” she continued. “Our agency extends to food pantry and food kitchens that serve food to hungry people.”

In March, just before the outbreak of COVID-19, the food bank started with 50 volunteers, but the number has been declining since then. Due to overwork and lack of support, food bank warehouse staff and operations teams have made every effort to reach as many people as possible.

“We had to completely revamp and consider how to do what we were doing,” Moon said. “I used to be a big team that I loved to work with, but now that’s not possible. Our executive leadership team has done a great job of navigating these harsh waters. did.”

Of course, the influx of families visiting food banks during the holidays is expected, so special safety measures have been taken to ensure safe food distribution. According to Moon, safety during the current proliferation of COVID-19 infections is a top priority for food banks.

“We strictly enforce all guidelines at the CDC. We are in close contact with the CDC because we handle food handling,” explained Moon. “We have a surprisingly supportive community and we are very grateful for the support from 29 counties. Like everyone else, we need to coordinate and pivot to take one day at a time. There is. ”

Atlanta Community Food Bank prepares for bustling holiday season with COVID-19 looming Source link Atlanta Community Food Bank prepares for bustling holiday season with COVID-19 looming

Back to top button