Harry Chapin Food Bank and the Coronavirus

Harry Chapin Food Bank and the Coronavirus 2560 1570 Harry Chapin Food Bank

Friday, June 26, 2020


Our hearts are full of gratitude. Today, we bid farewell to one of our colleagues that gave our community 16 years of service. Marta Hudson has served the food bank in various capacities and her legacy will continue to serve our community. Marta helped launch our WINK Feeds Families Hunger Walk 13 years ago. This event has brought thousands together every year raising millions of dollars to help feed those in our community that are hungry. The 2021 WINK Feeds Families Hunger Walk will most likely be different this year thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic, but we promised Marta that the passion and purpose will never change. We wish Marta all the very best and send her off to enjoy her retirement with a lot of love.

Not only are our hearts full of gratitude for Marta but they are full of gratitude to thousands that have responded to the 40% increase in need in our community. We celebrate that together; we have been able to distribute 10,865,269 pounds of food since this pandemic turned our world upside down in March. This is a truly remarkable achievement for our community. It is humbling to ponder what we have overcome: hoard shopping, government shutdowns, school closures, massive disruptions in the food supply channels and yet we have distributed 9,054,391 meals to those who need food. Incredible. Gratitude abounds.

This week’s efforts mirror the same passion and commitment to ensure that no one has to go hungry. We distributed 884,723 pounds of food throughout our five-county footprint. We rescued 231,595 pounds of food from our retail partners. We continue to purchase an astronomical amount of food, $1 million dollars a month. Prior to the pandemic, we purchased only a little food for specific programs, and it made up 5% of our total food sources. Our increased expenditures will not lesson any time soon and our ability to provide food will lie squarely on our ability to raise the necessary funds. To support our efforts, please click here.

This week, your food bank held 13 drive-thru distributions on top of our normal food distribution programs. We are grateful for the 366 volunteers that gave their time to us this week. Our food distribution programs are not possible without our volunteers. These change makers have endured incredibly hot temperatures, particularly those at the drive-thru distributions and their passion needs to be celebrated. We still need more able, well and willing individuals to give of their time. Please click here to sign up.

“There is nothing more beautiful than someone who goes out of their way to make life beautiful for others.” It seems as if Mandy Hales wrote these words to describe our dear colleague Marta and to the thousands in our community that have responded to the need. We are so fortunate to be surrounded by such beauty.