Meals are often the choice between favorite recipes not how or if we can get the groceries to eat, but during this COVID-19 pandemic, grocery shopping, meal planning, and online pre-ordering is taking more forethought and planning. However, for 182,000 children and 45,000 seniors living in poverty in Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina’s service region, food always takes more forethought as they rely on food banks to eat and now more so than ever.
Thanks to The Good Kitchen, a Charlotte based fully-prepared meal company, 35,000 individually-portioned meals will be distributed to children who are missing lunches due to the current school closures and seniors isolated and in need of meals. These meals will be distributed through Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina’s child and senior hunger programming which includes mobile pantries, food distribution events, and the Food Bank’s 800+ partner agencies in a 24-county service region (14 in NC and 10 in SC).
Financial security may be on our minds, and we may not have as much as we normally have, but there are still ways we can share and help coordinate, donate or volunteer with contactless food distribution in our community.
Please consider one of these options for helping Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina as those who often rely on them have greater needs due to job losses and social distancing. Often during crisis hourly workers who already were scraping by are affected first or know more people who are, so needs grow exponentially for those already living below or close to the poverty line. So how will you get involved?
The greatest need currently is for funds to purchase healthy shelf stable items for food boxes. These boxes will help feed families whose children are missing school meals, seniors being asked to stay safely in their homes, those in need of food who are quarantined, and employees in our community being impacted by decreases in work hours or being laid off. For a donation of $25 – we can provide a seven day nutritionally balanced meal box. For more information visit https://www.secondharvestmetrolina.org/news-pages/coronavirus-response
Another way to help is to host a virtual fund drive through our online fundraising app. Set up a page, share it with your friends, family, coworkers, and practice social action while practicing social distancing. You can get started here: https://p2p.onecause.com/shmetrolina-covidresponse.
Food Drives vs. Funds - with our volunteers being limited to groups of less than 10, finding enough hands to sort food can be difficult at this time. However, if individuals want to hold a food drive, we ask that they collect a specific need item so the drive does not have to be sorted. This is important because there are not enough volunteers to assist. Our current needs are for canned entrees: Spaghetti & meatballs, ravioli, and chili. If you do host a food drive, please help us save on transportation costs and labor and commit to delivering the items we have noted to the Food Bank.
Volunteer - if you are healthy and without any cold/flu symptoms, please consider volunteering. The Food Bank is taking every safety precaution for our volunteers and staff including increased cleaning / sanitizing of our facility after each volunteer shift, consistent handwashing, along with social distancing - which eliminates handshakes and hugs … sorry. See how you can help by visiting this link: https://www.secondharvestmetrolina.org/give-time/volunteer
So whether you add extra cans of these items to your shopping list, host a virtual fundraising drive via social media or make a $25 donation to provide a week’s worth of nutritionally-balanced meals, you are living outside of yourself, which is where we all feel limited right now. But we can serve others even without seeing them.
Thank you to the Amy and Brian France Foundation for presenting this year's #SpotlightOnCLT content series!