On March 16, 2020, guidelines were issued by the U.S. government that closed restaurants, bars, food courts, gyms, schools, and other places where more than 10 people commonly gather. This is causing millions of employees to face lower hours or even losing their jobs. But even without a job, these millions of newly unemployed people still need food. To help fill the rising demand for food, food banks are quickly giving out everything they have.
COVID-19 has caused many to start hoarding food and supplies, causing less and less donations. Self-isolating has grown to such a degree in the U.K. that food banks are facing a shortage of volunteers. Supermarkets are also limiting purchase amounts - this is causing food banks to lose the ability of buying enough food. Because of this, many food banks have begun to limit hours and some have even started to close down. Food banks in the U.S. are also preparing for a similar situation - some food banks have already switched to a drive-thru or mobile distribution model and others are making schedules for pickup appointments to help cut down crowd sizes. Some of the hardest hit regions are seeing even less donations and volunteers than other areas. Food Lifeline: Seattle gets 83% of its donations from grocery stores, but with many stocking up for themselves, donations have started to run low. Blood banks are also running low on blood that is vital to the lives of many as blood drives are canceled.
Learn more about how tech is helping churches and food banks meet their donation demands during COVID-19 here.