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FAQs on coronavirus’s impact on child food insecurity

We will continue to update our Frequenly Asked Questions as coronavirus’s impact on child food insecurity changes and new questions on how we are responding arise.

What is the best way for me to help?

The most important things to do to help in our response to coronavirus (COVID-19) is to donate, volunteer, and tell others.

DONATE NOW!
Your important donation will directly support our increase in food inventory and provide meals to hundreds of thousands of children increasingly facing food insecurity. EVERY $100 MAKES IT POSSIBLE FOR 25 CHILDREN TO RECEIVE MEALS.

VOLUNTEER!
Our volunteers play a critical role in packing the food into bags. We have added food packing events for small groups (with proper social distancing and sanitary environments).

**UPDATE: We are extremely appreciative of the response from the community to volunteer. To limit exposure to the public and maintain the health and safety of volunteers and staff, we are changing our packing events at our warehouse to a smaller group of return volunteers. We are working with The Sanneh Foundation and AmeriCorps to minimize the number of people involved in packing food and help continue our essential work of providing food to the community. Events will be open in mid-April, but we are continuously reevaluating based on the current situation. Check here for updates.**

TELL OTHERS!
You can help by spreading the word to your networks. You can share our posts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn; create a fundraiser on Facebook or create your own fundraising page; support organizations and businesses who are supporting our mission; or any other way you’d like to share our efforts with your family, friends and colleagues.

With school closures, how are you distributing food to children?

Prior to March 13th, our weekend food program was operating in 250 Minnesota schools. Food was delivered to these sites approximately monthly with a month supply.

We have since halted our distribution methods for our weekend food program. All schools were instructed to utilize any food on-site to serve children and families in whatever way they see fit. We are working closely with school district leadership, who are now coordinating all nutrition response and creating food distribution points for their students. We are partnering with over 30 districts in Minnesota and Western Wisconsin to provide food at these distribution points. These districts include over 87,000 kids on free or reduced lunch, which accounts for 30% of all such students in the state.

Additionally, we have partnered with the YMCA to make our food bags are available at 26 branches in Twin Cities, Rochester, and Hudson. Learn more about this partnership here.

We will be there for the children through school closures, which are expected to remain closed through the end of the school year. And we will be working long after that to help stabilize families.

Are you still holding volunteer events?

Yes – volunteers are very important to this response! Packing event volunteers play a critical role in packing the food into bags. At this time, we are only doing packing events at our warehouse with a smaller group of return volunteers to limit exposure to the public and maintain the health and safety of volunteers and staff. We are working with The Sanneh Foundation and AmeriCorps to minimize the number of people involved in packing food and help continue our essential work of providing food to the community. Events will be open in mid-April, but we are continuously reevaluating based on the current situation. Check here for updates.

How are you ensuring the health and safety of your network?

Our network is vitally important in fulfilling our mission of fighting child hunger. As we continue supporting children during the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we must continue key operations and maintaining everyone’s well-being is equally important. Read more on how ensuring the health and safety of our network here.

Can I volunteer to distribute food to the kids?

With school closures, we have halted our distribution of food into children’s backpacks for our weekend food program through volunteers. We are still distributing our food to children, but school district leadership are now coordinating all nutrition response. They are creating distribution points for their students, and we are providing food at these distribution points.

There are others, not only children, who are also facing food insecurity. How can we help them too?

Yes, children, parents, grandparents and many other family members are all feeling the impacts of coronavirus’s disruptions in our community. Hunger Solutions has a list of local food shelves and other organizations who are helping, in a variety of different ways, those who are facing increasing food insecurity during these unsettling times. These organizations also need community support to be able to help all who are living with food insecurity in our communities.

Have additional questions?

Please contact us at info@thesheridanstory.org or 612-568-4003.