Worried About Safely Getting Food or Personal Care Supplies During COVID-19?

For Immediate Release 3/18/2020 The Greater Washington County Food Bank is scaling up to provide emergency food and personal care relief caused by Coronavirus through its drive thru distribution model, Truck to Trunk, and expects to deliver 5,000 to 6,000 or more boxes (a 50% increase in need) this month with minimal contact for both Clients and Staff/Volunteers. Volunteers to help box up deliveries and distribute food, cash donations, as well as in-kind donations of bulk goods are urgently needed. “Without knowing what we were facing and how important it would be to have the capabilities so soon, but knowing that at some point it would be necessary, we piloted and started moving towards this unique distribution model in summer of 2019,” said Executive Director, Connie Burd. “Luckily, we have the infrastructure to shift all of our regular and emergency distribution there now, even as we scale up to accommodate the increased need due to the State of Emergency. We hope to act as an example for other food banks, hopefully helping them serve more people and save lives.” The Greater Washington County Food Bank is mobilizing extra resources to meet the rise in need and to assure that no one, especially our most vulnerable, will go without food or personal care supplies. They are changing their model wholesale to “Truck To Trunk,” a drive thru distribution, which requires little to no person-to-person contact and eliminates the need for vulnerable populations to gather. Staff and volunteers of the Food Bank will load boxes directly from their Food Bank trucks into the client’s trunk, so they don’t even have to step out of their vehicle. “If you, or someone you know, needs food, we can get it to you, near your home, in a way that does not risk anyone’s health,” reiterated Lorraine Johnson, Pantry Liaison. “This is what we want people in need, who are vulnerable, to know. There is a safe way to get food and supplies.” The Food Bank will use its Facebook page and Website as tools to keep those it serves up to date, as well as sending emails. Anyone who wants to stay informed should make sure they follow those and sign up to receive emails on the website (www.gwcfb.org). The Greater Washington County Food Bank, which is a 501(c)3 community service non-profit has a few needs. If you can volunteer, they really need you! The Food Bank has designed volunteer opportunities for individuals and small groups to assist in packing boxes and distributing them. They had already begun piloting the Truck to Trunk model delivering 400-500 boxes per month, plus typical pantry distribution. With Trucks to Trunks for 100% of clients for April, they are in need of 5,000 to 6,000 boxes by April 1st. This is a huge increase. Volunteer shifts have been designed to accommodate all of the recommendations of the CDC, including small groups, appropriate distance between people, and sanitizing between shifts. Distribution volunteers will be asked to volunteer as close to their own homes as possible. This critical community service organization also needs donations of cash to buy supplies like the extra boxes needed with the increase in demand for services. “We anticipate seeing a significant increase in need as people are unable to go to work and are asked to stay home. We are preparing for this, but to do so, we have to increase our operating funds now,” said Connie Burd. “We cannot thank the Washington County Community Foundation enough for their $10,000 gift to assist the scale up of our Truck to Trunk work for the next several months, but we know that will end up being only part of what we need to make sure that no one in our community goes hungry.” Additionally, businesses are being asked to donate unopened bulk food, paper, cleaning, health and beauty items which will quickly get into the hands of those in need. ​ For more information contact Peggy Grimes, Assistant Executive Director and Warehouse Manager, (724) 632 - 2190 ext 101, asstexecdir@gwcfb.org

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