As many institutions are suspending operations due to the COVID-19 virus, Midwest Food Bank continues its general food procurement and distribution. Anticipating additional strain on pantries by temporarily unemployed hourly workers, MFB hopes to be available to provide food to overburdened feeding programs.
MFB is responding to requests for assistance from The Salvation Army. Three semi-trailer loads of family food boxes have been requested. The first, for the Chicago, IL area, left Midwest Food Bank Bloomington-Normal today. Two more loads have been requested, one each for the Boston, MA area and the Philadelphia, PA area, and are in process.
MFB is a first responder for The Salvation Army and can have relief on the road within 24 hours of a request. Family food boxes contain enough shelf-stable food to feed a family of 4 for 4-5 days.
“Midwest Food Bank sees this as an opportunity to share the love of Christ by providing food relief,” says Eric Hodel, COO/CFO of MFB. “For the foreseeable future, we intend to continue to do just that, adjusting to changing events as they unfold.”
As MFB relies heavily on volunteer help, there will continue to be a volunteer presence at all locations. All MFB locations are taking measures to sanitize and limit the number of volunteers in the warehouses. MFB asks those who are ill or susceptible not to volunteer at this time. Individual divisions will make decisions regarding group volunteer activities at their location. MFB will communicate relief efforts and needs through its website and social media.
“With the information we have and understanding our mission to serve those in need, our current plan is to maintain MFB operations of procuring and distributing food to agencies and support for disaster relief,” says Tara Ingham, Executive Director of Midwest Food Bank Bloomington-Normal. “For those wanting to help, financial donations give us the ability to quickly respond to crises. Contributions can be made on the MFB website, midwestfoodbank.org.”
Midwest Food Bank has ten locations, eight in the United States, and one each in East Africa and Haiti. Its mission is to share the love of Christ, by alleviating hunger and malnutrition locally and throughout the world and providing disaster relief; all without discrimination.