On March 16, 2020, guidelines were put into place by the U.S. government telling restaurants, food courts, gyms, schools, bars, and other places where a gathering of 10 or more people would occur to close down. Some restaurants in response have switched to drive-thru or pick-up only, but many jobs are at risk with how many places are closing down and a large number of businesses may not survive these closings. Millions of cooks, bartenders, servers, teaching assistants, and employees in arts, entertainment, and recreation are finding themselves with less hours or out of a job entirely. With millions more people needing food and other basic necessities, nonprofits are bracing for a leap in demand for food, assistance, and other services.
With all of these people needing help, food banks and other nonprofits are running short. Self-isolating in the U.K. has grown to such an extent that many food banks are lacking volunteers and because of which reduced hours and even started to close down. Falling donations and supermarket purchasing limits are causing already stunted supplies to run out faster. The U.S. food banks are preparing for a similar situation – they are also setting up drive-thrus or mobile distribution models, others are switching to scheduled pick-up times to help prevent crowds from forming. The regions that are hardest hit are seeing larger drop-offs in donations as people are stocking up and donating less. Food Lifeline: Seattle gets the majority of its donations from grocery stores, but with shoppers taking and stocking up for themselves, donations are slowing down. Blood banks are losing opportunities to get much-needed blood due to canceled blood drives – this blood is still sorely needed even during this time of crisis.
Learn more about how businesses, charities, and churches are giving during COVID-19 here.