Our hearts go out to those who have already been impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Although we do not yet know how this outbreak will impact Central Virginia, we are monitoring its status closely and doing everything we can to ensure those who depend on us continue to receive nutritious food.
In these uncertain times, I am pleased to tell you Feed More is well prepared and we will continue to be a part of the solution and distribute food to our neighbors who face hunger. As a community backbone organization, we continually look forward on behalf of our clients and began preparing our mitigation strategies on March 3.
We remain in contact with state and local public health agencies, healthcare providers and local governments to ensure we have current information and are engaged as a partner throughout this unprecedented public health crisis.
Getting Food Out to Neighbors in Need
We will continue to collect, prepare and distribute food to our neighbors who are food insecure. Today, you should know:
- We have increased production in the Bayard Community Kitchen to ensure we have at least a two-week supply of frozen meals that can be distributed in an emergency to our Meals on Wheels recipients.
- We also have increased production in our Food Bank Distribution Center to store a one-week reserve of BackPacks to supplement food provided by other sources for school-aged children as school calendars are disrupted.
- We are activating our contingency plan with 28 of our Agency Network members designated as Emergency Relief agencies and additional pantries to maintain our food distribution capability in the event food supply or distribution channels are interrupted.
Our Commitment to Safety
As always, the safety of our clients, staff, volunteers and community partners remains our highest priority. We are proud of our cleanliness and hygiene achievements:
- The Bayard Community Kitchen consistently receives a 100 percent rating from the Richmond Health Department. We have not been cited for a single violation during the past eight years.
- We received a 925, out of a possible 1,000, rating in our most recent inspection and certification from the American Institute of Bakers, whose accreditation is internationally recognized as the most stringent in the food industry.
- Every two years, we inspect each of the 260 food pantries, soup kitchens, group homes and other agencies we work with to ensure compliance with ServSafe, the premier provider of food safety training in the United States. Each agency must report daily cooler and freezer temperatures three times each week.
- We have re-emphasized the importance of safe personal hygiene practices throughout our paid and volunteer workforce to ensure those who receive our food are as risk-free as possible.
- We have increased the deployment of hand sanitizer stations throughout our facilities and are sanitizing all frequently used surfaces several times each day.
Please help us and our community by remaining healthy by following the guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control:
- Wash your hands, often, with soap for 20 seconds
- Avoid close contact
- Stay home if you’re sick
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then wash your hands
- Wear a facemask if you are sick
- Clean and disinfect frequently used surfaces
The news reports about coronavirus are troubling, but together, we can take steps to keep our community safe and healthy. Many seniors and families are already facing hunger. Preparing for illness is a luxury they can’t afford – but together, we are helping.
As an organization, we remain steadfast, today, and always, in our commitment to distribute nutritious meals and food to individuals and families who are food insecure throughout 34 Central Virginia localities, while keeping safety the top priority. Your previous support, through donations of food, funds and/or time has already helped us be prepared for this outbreak. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.
We remain passionate about our mission and ensure your trust and investment in us is well placed. You have made a commitment to the future well-being of our Central Virginia neighbors. We value that commitment and promise to continue to serve those in need throughout these challenging times.
Thank you for your confidence in our abilities and please stay well.
In deepest appreciation,
President & CEO
P.S. We are in need of volunteers to help us prepare and package food in our Community Kitchen. Four-hour shifts are available Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. If you are 16 years or older and want to make a real, and tangible, difference in our community, please complete our Volunteer Application Form!