Sarasota, FL (JUNE 24, 2020) – According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, this hurricane season is predicted to be more active than normal. The COVID-19 pandemic will continue into the hurricane season, compounding the problem of hunger in our region. All Faiths Food Bank has taken additional measures to handle hurricane-plus-pandemic scenarios.
All Faiths is ready with resources, training and communication to respond to the communities it serves. The Food Bank has already secured supplies of emergency meals and water and has leased additional warehouse space for storage. As in the past, the Food Bank will work directly with local emergency management operations in providing food, water, and hygiene items during crisis situations. Similarly, as part of the Feeding America and Feeding Florida networks, All Faiths is prepared to provide emergency assistance to its sister food banks statewide and nationally, if needed.
“All Faiths Food Bank is an essential partner and a critical disaster response organization that deserves the full support of the entire community,” said Edward J. McCrane Jr., Emergency Management Chief for the Sarasota County Emergency Operations Center. “In addition to responding to hunger in the community every day, they stock up and prepare our community to ride out the storm and come to the rescue to feed thousands after major economic, man-made or natural disasters.”
In times of disaster, All Faiths Food Bank and its agency partners represent a vital emergency food supply for storm victims in Sarasota and DeSoto counties. Hunger relief is challenging enough in areas impacted by natural disasters; any storm response this year will be complicated by the coronavirus.
“Even without the pandemic, this storm season would have been challenging; however, the intersection of these two events could be disastrous for the families we serve,” said Frank. “One large storm could have a devastating impact on our neighbors and would potentially place even more strain on our community’s relief systems.”
All Faiths Food Bank is already addressing greatly increased needs as community members reel from the economic impacts of the coronavirus. Additionally, during the summer months, the Food Bank works with schools and partner agencies to feed children who qualify for free or reduced meals while at school but do not have access to those meals over the summer. As of early June, the Food Bank had seen an increase in need of approximately 120%, with new clients increasing almost 45% at food distribution sites.
All Faiths hopes that the community will respond to the 1-2-3 punch of the coronavirus, summer hunger and hurricane season with generous support. While there is still a temporary hold on consumer donations of food and water due to public health concerns related to the coronavirus, financial contributions are most welcome.
For more information or to make a donation, visit allfaithsfoodbank.org.
About All Faiths Food Bank
All Faiths Food Bank is the only food bank and largest hunger relief organization in Sarasota and DeSoto counties. Rated 4-stars by Charity Navigator and a member of Feeding America, we provide millions of meals each year through robust programs and partnerships with charitable organizations in the community. In addition to food distribution, All Faiths Food Bank operates a roster of innovative direct service programs that not only solve the immediate problem of hunger but strive to end hunger by helping families and individuals gain long-term food security, better health outcomes and self-sufficiency. For more information visit allfaithsfoodbank.org.