Bay Area food pantries are struggling. Here's how you can help

Bay Space meals pantries are struggling. Here is how one can assist

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The coronavirus continues to influence the methods by which folks dwell, work, be taught, and, for some, eat.

Native meals pantries and different food-related organizations are having to adapt to the surroundings of social distancing and sheltering-in-place.

“Volunteers got here from varied firms within the metropolis, however then all these folks disappeared as soon as they began telecommuting,” mentioned Amor Santiago, Vice President of Improvement at Challenge Open Hand, a Bay Space non-profit group that prepares, serves, and delivers meals for the aged and disabled.

Challenge Open Hand has needed to change from a whole lot of scorching meals all through its a number of serving websites in San Francisco to now individually getting ready frozen meals for his or her shoppers.

“We had been the most important supplier of neighborhood vitamin websites. We had 16 websites and these had been congregate websites, the place seniors and the disabled would come to a senior middle or to a corporation, and we might serve them a scorching meal. A thousand meals could be offered throughout our 16 websites, however now these seniors are actually in danger due to COVID-19. They can’t come to the websites and sit with one another, as a result of that was additionally invaluable, they might socialize, not be remoted, and schedule different actions for the longer term. Now, all these locations are closed. There isn’t any sitting with one another.”

The variety of volunteers Challenge Open Hand normally has every day has additionally been affected by COVID-19.

“A part of why we’re value efficient is as a result of we used to have 100 volunteers each day serving to with every part from supply to chopping greens,” mentioned Santiago.

Whereas the numbers have dwindled, volunteers are persevering with to point out up. Challenge Open Hand now has a each day common of round 30 volunteers, who adhere to all Well being Division protocols, comparable to carrying face masks, gloves, and remaining six ft aside, and it not too long ago achieved the objective for its latest half-million greenback fundraising marketing campaign to deal with COVID-19.

“It isn’t as a result of they don’t wish to come. Earlier than once we had a few hundred volunteers a day, about half of them had been over sixty, so we had quite a lot of retired of us who had been serving to out. What that meant is that these are the individuals who shouldn’t be out. A few of our volunteers had been volunteers for many years. However they have to be at dwelling, and never come to our middle.”

The variety of deliveries Challenge Open Hand makes has elevated considerably as a result of shelter-in-place orders and other people getting COVID-19, which each imply they can not depart their properties. “We’re like a meal-delivery service now, however as a non-profit who gives medically tailor-made meals [meals prepared with consulted nutritionists for the ill] and groceries,” mentioned Santiago. “And naturally, our precedence is the security of our workers, so they’re carrying masks and gloves through the drop offs, and stand again whereas they await the shopper to choose up the meals. … Meals are what we do. Our motto is meals is love, meals that heal, and meals with love.”

Under is a listing of native Bay Space meals banks, pantries, and organizations which might be presently open and who’re nonetheless providing their companies.