All Faiths Food Bank Adjusts Operations in the Face of the COVID-19 Crisis

The Giving Coast

Due to the coronavirus disease pandemic (COVID-19), All Faiths Food Bank - the largest hunger relief organization and only food bank serving Sarasota and DeSoto counties - has had to make significant changes to its operations. The organization is working to alert the community to the changes so that those who wish to help can do so, and so that those who are in need of food can find it.

Health officials are advising people to limit grocery shopping because of the contamination risks. The public is also being instructed to disinfect every item brought into their homes. Because the Food Bank distributes millions of pounds of food, the potential for contamination is exponential. Therefore, the organization has placed a temporary hold on consumer food donations while very gratefully accepting cash contributions. 

Additionally, as community members have been asked to practice social distancing and ordered to stay at home, the Food Bank has placed a temporary hold on group volunteers. There is just a very small group of long-time volunteers still assisting the organization; staff members at all levels are now filling significant gaps in mission-critical operations – such as food sorting, packing, boxing and distribution – in addition to performing their regular duties. 

Due to sanitation and social distancing requirements, the Food Bank is building pre-packed boxes of food that can be distributed with bags of produce or meat. With schools closed and children eligible for free or reduced-price unable to access those meals, the Food Bank has accelerated its Campaign Against Summer Hunger and is already partnering with the Sarasota School District to help feed children at eight area schools as well as through area Boys & Girls Clubs, Children First, Girls Inc. and Early Learning Coalition. 

General food distribution has shifted to a drive-thru model at all locations in order to protect the health and safety of the community. For those who wish to contribute much-needed funds, it is important to note that the Food Bank can purchase five meals for every $1 given. 

Click to donate or to find out where and when to find upcoming food distributions.

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