Feeding the Gulf Coast Sees More Than 700% Spike in Assistance Inquiries During COVID-19 Disruptions

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Unedited press release from Feeding the Gulf Coast

(March 23, 2020) – Over the past week as COVID-19 (Coronavirus) disruptions continue to increase, Feeding the Gulf Coast has seen an increase in “Find Help” website traffic of over 700%. The food bank is actively working with community partners to serve seniors, families, and children in need, especially individuals who are considered in high-risk categories. The food bank remains committed to its mission of ensuring the needs of communities are met.

“Our service area is experiencing an influx of need from those impacted by COVID-19,” says Dan Emery, newly appointed President and CEO for Feeding the Gulf Coast. “School closures, and local job layoffs are leading to an unprecedented need for those who typically may not experience food insecurity. While those that struggle on a daily basis are now in an even more critical situation, compounded by the economic stress this virus has created in our communities.”

As families are faced with an increased need for food due to school closures, inability to work, or facing self-quarantine requirements, the “Find Help” feature available at www.feedingthegulfcoast.org, is the best source of information for families and individuals seeking assistance. Individuals can also call (888) 704-FOOD. The food bank works with over 400 partner agencies. Several partners have upcoming food distributions this week (locations listed below.)

The food bank is partnering with local community organizations to offer free meals to children, 18 and under, who are no longer receiving free or reduced lunch due to school closures. The food bank is serving over 1,800 child nutrition meals daily to sites. Those sites will serve grab and go meals and will be listed on our website (Alabama and Florida locations listed below.)

Feeding the Gulf Coast continues to develop and implement response solutions to meet the increased need already being seen across the service area. These solutions include strategies for the distribution of emergency food boxes for those affected by school closures, quarantines and the growing economic impact of this crisis. Community support is always needed, especially during these uncertain times. Now more than ever, healthy volunteers and donations are critical. Individuals looking to donate or volunteer can do so by visiting www.feedingthegulfcoast.org.

During this time of uncertainty and crisis, Feeding the Gulf Coast remains dedicated to serving the community. Working with community partners, the food bank will continue to be an organization of hope and support for families facing hunger. For more information regarding the work Feeding the Gulf Coast is doing to fight hunger during this time of increased need visit https://www.feedingthegulfcoast.org/learn-more/covid-19-response.

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The full press release can be accessed below:

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