Photo courtesy El Pasoans Fighting Hunger
In an update sent to supporters via an online newsletter, Susan Goodell of El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank, shared the challenges her organization has gone through in the past few weeks, and reminds the community of the work still needing to be done in the coming days and weeks.
These past two weeks have been intense at the food bank.
Due to the evolving COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation, we’ve had to modify our distribution model from one that relies on hundreds of soup kitchens, shelters, pantries, schools, emergency shelters and others throughout the region and focus on a different type of model that allows for drive-through distribution.
This model allows us to optimize distribution and minimize face-to-face interactions.
Since implementing the change, cars have been lining up and down the street at the food bank to pick up emergency food boxes. As vehicles approach our distribution point, volunteers place a box of food, along with frozen and fresh product, into their trunk and the vehicle drives away often smiling and waving to our dedicated staff and volunteers.
To meet the immediate need, we partnered with 4 local food pantries to strategically set-up mega drive-through locations around El Paso. That way we ensure our most vulnerable neighbors have access to the nutritious food they need during this difficult time.
We are focusing our efforts on the most vulnerable. Particularly our elderly, who are at the highest risk of COVID-19 complications. With schools closed, thousands of children are without breakfast and lunch. Many people are experiencing economic hardships due to employment losses or reductions.
The food bank is prepared to meet the needs of these families and individuals who are at greatest risk of hunger, many of whom may be coming to seek food for the first time.
We are here, we have the food supply, and we’re bringing additional food supply’s to our community to meet the need!
I can’t thank our staff, volunteers, donors and community partners enough for their dedication and hard work during this process! You are the backbone of our operation, allowing us to provide food to everyone who may be feeling frightened and alone.
We are all experiencing this together and together we will get through this.
Be safe and be assured that the food bank will stand strong for this community during these uncertain times.
~~~ How to help~~~
- Monetary donations do the most immediate good. For every $1 donated, EPFH can provide 7 meals. Make an online donation here or donate by texting FeedingElPaso to 243725
2. Community members who are able to volunteer can sign up here. We are providing a letter of exemption that you can print out and have available before coming to volunteer at the food bank during the city-wide mandate to stay home. This will allow you peace of mind as you travel to and from our warehouse to assist us in packaging emergency food boxes.
For questions, contact Volunteer Coordinator, Miranda Chapman, at 915-247-0257 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.