Our commitment to children during the coronavirus outbreak
As public health concerns for COVID-19 (coronavirus) grow in our communities, the need to feed children living in food insecurity is also growing. Our commitment to provide a nutritious meal source is as strong as ever. We are taking steps to ensure that children and families do not lack access to nutritious food during this evolving situation.
With all K-12 schools in Minnesota closing starting no later than March 18, hundreds of thousands of children will face a substantial increase in food insecurity. Facing this pandemic, school districts will need to prepare for closings for even longer periods of time. Children and families already living in food insecurity will be the most impacted and face even more challenges in accessing food. For those on the brink of economic hardship, this could be the tipping point of not knowing when they will get their next meal.
To be as prepared as possible to meet the ever-expanding need, we are partnering with over 30 school districts in Minnesota and Western Wisconsin to identify the unique and challenging needs of their student populations.
To meet the expected increase in demand, we are mobilizing our existing food resources and ready to purchase, prepare, and stock extra food bags at additional locations to provide meals to hundreds of thousands of children and families in the community. Because of the dynamic and sensitive nature of the situation, we will adapt our plan based on what makes the most sense for each school district and our capabilities. As we continue to expand our contingency plans, we are also exploring alternative methods for delivering meals to children and families in need.
Our goal is that children have access to nutritious food. This is our goal always, but is especially important in situations when children are even more vulnerable. With all the concerns to health and safety, going hungry should not be one of them.
Significant results require significant investments, and we need your support to keep our vitally important work moving forward. Please join our efforts to help us quickly adapt to the evolving situation and increased need for the nutritious food in our communities. You can make a difference and have a direct impact on local child hunger.
- Donate: 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: Buying extra food is not enough. 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). If you are healthy and able, please consider volunteering at a food packing event.
** 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.
Despite the unforeseen consequences of COVID-19, the support over the years from sponsors, community partners, volunteers, donors and our whole network, combined with the commitment of our employees, has helped prepare us to face this challenging situation. We remain committed to the children and invite you to join us!
The Sheridan Story team
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