On March 23, Governor Northam ordered the statewide closure of certain non-essential businesses and all K-12 schools through the end of the school year.
With this statewide mandate, many in our community are left wondering, how does this impact Feed More?
We’re here, today and always.
Feed More, our staff, Agency Network members and volunteers provide essential service to the communities we serve and will continue to do so as the COVID-19 public health crisis evolves. We received the following statement from the Federation of Virginia Food Banks, which has been approved and signed off on by Governor Northam:
Please be advised that regardless of the Virginia mandates for business closing, quarantine, and/or sheltering, the charitable food network will always be exempt. Our work on the front lines to fight food insecurity across the Commonwealth is considered life sustaining work. This work includes that of food banks and partner agencies—pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters—and most of all, our most valuable asset, our volunteers.
Access to safe and nourishing food through our network is needed now more than ever. If you are healthy and able, please take precautions and continue to operate and volunteer. Together, we are meeting an essential need when our communities need us the most.
As one of the backbone nonprofit organizations in Central Virginia, Feed More, our agencies and volunteers are considered to be involved in essential business and are exempt from the meeting size restrictions and closures.
Working together, while staying apart.
Now, more than ever, we are committed to the safety and wellbeing of our staff, agencies, volunteers and clients.
Our staff is the heart and soul of our operations. While Feed More is not required to close or send employees home, we’re taking further steps to increase safety and reduce risk for our compassionate team, while ensuring continuity of our operations. We’ve adopted a work from home policy for those departments that can and all of our employees are on-call for volunteer assignments.
We have also been in regular communications with the members of our Agency Network, providing them with guidance on how to keep their volunteers and clients safe while continuing their important work. We’ve been so impressed with, and inspired by, how these organizations have mobilized, adjusted their operations and shifted their food distribution models to meet the need in the communities they serve!
It goes without saying that our volunteers are a critical part of hunger-fighting operations and we appreciate their continued support, especially now! While our daily need for volunteers is great, we’ve mandated that all volunteers follow our responsible volunteering guidelines and adjusted the layout and set up of our shifts to closely adhere to social distancing.
Additionally, moving our Meals on Wheels meal deliveries to just once a week has helped us streamline our operations. Our senior and homebound neighbors now receive a week’s worth of meals in just one visit, keeping the safety of our clients and volunteers a top priority.
Thousands of your neighbors are counting on Feed More and our Agency Network now, and this need will only heighten if the COVID-19 public health crisis worsens. While the future may seem uncertain, one thing is not – we will continue to be here for our neighbors when they need us most.