COVID-19 Update

HOW WE’RE RESPONDING TO COVID-19

Feeding South Florida is committed to serving the community during this rapidly evolving and unprecedented time of increased need.

To help us provide food and services to all who need it, we’ve launched the Feeding South Florida COVID-19 Response Fund. Thanks to the generosity of Ultimate Software, Inc. and other friends, your donations will be matched dollar for dollar up to $250,000! These critical funds allow us to mobilize quickly so please donate today!

What’s happening?

During public health crises like the COVID-19 outbreak, our kids, seniors and working families who struggle to make ends meet on a daily basis are impacted even more by having to choose what’s least costly: spending money on childcare or not going to work so they can stay home to care for their child. Schools are closed which reduces immediate access to meals. Buses are not picking up our kids which means they must find their way to school to eat a meal. Senior congregate meal sites have shut down. Hourly wages are scaled back. Entire industries are seeing a reduction in patrons and lower revenue.

The food and services we provide are more critical than ever before, yet Feeding South Florida is facing unprecedented challenges ourselves, with mass volunteer cancellations, distribution networks shutting down and balancing the safety of our employees with our imperative to serve the community. The global threat is diminishing resources and the rapidly changing closure announcements are requiring ad-hoc innovations to adjust our strategic and tactical response.

As with every response to an emergency, we’re here and ready to serve but Feeding South Florida has not needed the support of the community as much it does today. We need more food, more volunteers, more temporary staff, more sanitation and cleaning supplies and most of all, more funding. Monetary donations give us the most flexibility to respond rapidly to food, logistics, staffing and supply needs.

WHAT WE'RE DOING TO HELP

  • Coordinating with Feeding America, Feeding Florida, government agencies, school districts, county government and local community partners to strategically deploy food resources.
  • Scheduling drive-thru distributions in strategic areas throughout the community to supplement closed agency sites, schools and meal sites.
  • Continuing to operate our three FSF pantry sites.
  • Continuing to supply our partner agency network with food.
  • Sourcing prepared meals from food donors and restaurants.
  • Providing innovative logistics support to community partners.
  • Surveying our network of partner agencies to monitor closures, support increased food needs and understanding volunteer capacity.
  • Working with community stakeholders to recruit volunteers.
  • Advocating for federal and state legislation and funding that supports COVID-19 response and recovery.

OUR SAFETY PROTOCOLS

  • Activated a staff prevention and leave policy that includes increased sanitation supplies, hand washing for at least 20 seconds, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, no touching, staying home when sick, required doctor clearance when sick, and more.
  • Increased cleaning supplies in our sort rooms and signage throughout the facility reminding volunteers of safety protocols.
  • Adjusted choice pantry service model to curbside pick-up only.
  • Requires volunteers to sign an attestation of travel history and good health.
  • Disseminated CDC and safety information to our network of partner agencies, including signage to post during distributions and recommendations to change all distributions to drive-thru.
  • Placed head count limits on volunteer shifts and practicing distancing policies.

TIPS FOR VOLUNTEERING

  • If you’re sick or recovering from a fever, stay home!
  • If you’re coughing, even unrelated to COVID, please stay home! It concerns other people and deters them from volunteering.
  • If you need to stay home, notify us that you are cancelling.
  • If the shift or event hasn’t been canceled and you’re not sick, please show up!
  • Follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s steps to prevent illness.
  • Wash your hands often, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, don’t touch others, cover your mouth if you cough or sneeze and rewash.
  • Practice distancing and no touch policies.
  • Wear gloves provided and use sanitizer.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Right now, the best way for Feeding South Florida to respond to the increased need is to continue with mass distributions of “raw goods” that can provide multiple meals. With many unemployed, the goal is to preserve gas and resources so that when people do come to distributions, they’re getting the most amount of food possible.

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