Harry Chapin Food Bank and the Coronavirus

Harry Chapin Food Bank and the Coronavirus 2560 1881 Harry Chapin Food Bank

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Shock and awe

Shock and awe are two emotions that your food bank team feels frequently. The shock begins when you see the sheer number of cars at the drive-thru distributions. It deepens when you recognize how much these families are struggling to make ends meet. There is also an abundance of awe at these events. The sincere gratitude that is extended by each family is heartwarming. Many of these families are finding themselves in our car lines for the first time. We have seen tears of gratitude, smiles of relief and lots of air hugs.

It is shocking to realize the volume of food your food bank has been distributing. We are more than doubling, even tripling the amount of food that is moving in and out of our warehouses. At the same time, we are still experiencing reductions in food donations pre-pandemic levels. Our operating budget has grown by $1.5 million a month. The majority of the increase is the purchasing of additional food to meet the need.

We are awed by the response of our volunteers. They touch nearly aspect of our operations. They are our heros; they make change happen. They make it possible for us to control our costs, a key ingredient in our sound financial management. We are so grateful to each and every one that has given their time to us. Thank you.

We are shocked to think that this pandemic crisis is about to be compounded by summer hunger. Many of the families we serve are displaced hospitality, retail industries and service employees. Many of them need more meals in the summer to provide for their school aged children who are no longer being fed by the school systems’ free and reduced lunch programs. Employment pressures mean these families have less resources for a higher demand of food.

Your food bank is in awe of how this community has lavishly supported us. Our phones are ringing off the hook, sometimes with offerings of financial support or food donations, but many of these calls are simply messages of encouragement, kindness and appreciation of our work. These calls place enormous smiles on our faces and we are grateful for every call. We feel so loved by our community. Thank you!

We are reminded the sage words of Helen Keller when she said, “Alone we can do so little: together we can do so much.” Thank you for responding to this enormous need. Thank you for being our helpers. Together we can achieve our mission to lead our community in the fight to end hunger.

If you are looking for food, please click here.

To support our feeding efforts, please click here.

If you are well, able, and willing to volunteer, please sign up here.