Our first concern is your health and well-being. We stand with Governor Holcomb and other leaders in our shared responsibility to protect lives. We are not public health experts, but we trust and rely on those experts, and we encourage you to do the same. Here are some resources for more information about COVID-19 and what you can do as a community member to protect yourself and others:
General questions about COVID-19 may be directed to the ISDH Epidemiology Resource Center at 317-233-7125 [317-233-1325 after hours] or e-mail email@example.com.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 website
Food banks are skilled at disaster and emergency response. We are coordinating with local agencies and disaster response teams to activate the strategies that will help us mitigate hunger in the weeks to come.
This is an unprecedented crisis public health crisis, and we recognize that our community members are concerned about what’s to come. We join other community and state leaders in encouraging you to take measured, informed steps to protect yourself and others. We may be practicing social distancing, but that does not mean that we are alone in this moment.
We are taking every precaution in our sanitizing and cleaning practices and our food distribution models to lower the risk of transmission of the virus.
With K-12 schools closing, with parents and other displaced workers likely to lose wages and experience shortages in their food budgets, and with seniors isolated in their homes, we need to continue to maintain our operations and our critical work to distribute food.
Much of our generous volunteer network is made up of older adults who are more vulnerable to serious illness due to COVID-19 infection. We ask them to stay home and stay safe if they need to in order to protect themselves.
Need for Volunteers
We are calling those who are healthy and able to step up in this time of critical need so that we can continue to do the critical work of feeding vulnerable community members. We especially encourage high school and college students to respond.
We encourage ALL of our volunteers, just as we do our staff, to stay home if they exhibit any symptoms of COVID-19 or if they have reason to suspect they may have been exposed to the virus.
Need for Government Action
Indiana state agencies are taking important steps to allow flexibility in nutrition programs during this crisis. For example, the Indiana Department of Education has obtained a waiver that allows schools to distribute take-home meals in non-congregate settings to children in certain areas. School districts are not required to distribute meals during this closure, and each district is grappling with the logistics involved in sourcing, preparing, packaging, and distributing meals, just as we are grappling with those logistics in our emergency hunger relief network.
We can’t speak for every school district, but we know they care about their students and families, and that they will provide more information when they have it.
Workers without paid sick leave or paid time off will likely lose wages due to the necessary measures undertaken in this public health crisis. Additionally, other workers will experience, or are already experiencing, layoffs or lost hours at work due to those same measures. Replacing lost school meals is just one piece of a large food insecurity challenge facing our communities, but we are here to do what we can to play an important role in responding to that challenge.
The state and federal government will have a key role in mitigating the impact on our most vulnerable Hoosiers and Americans. H.R. 6201 – the Families First Coronavirus Response Act – would respond immediately by providing additional appropriations for food purchase for foodbanks, additional SNAP benefits for families with children impacted by school closures, other flexibility and funding for federal nutrition programs, and economic stimulus that would help reduce the impact this public health and related economic crisis has on low-wage workers and families with children.
We’re grateful for Governor Holcomb’s leadership at this time and we have faith that our elected officials will do what is necessary to protect Americans.
Need for Donations
Generous community partners, like restaurants, hotels, and retail chains, are doing what they can to provide food to community members and to our food banks. With that said, these businesses are also limited in supplies and some are hurting for revenue with slowdowns in customers. We’re moved by their generosity and working with them as we’re able. Companies offering food donations can contact your local food bank.
Generous corporate and individual donors are responding, as well, and we ask that those who can give, consider giving now.
We are working to source the items below, as well as other equipment that can help facilitate no-touch distributions to limit the risk of spread at our food distributions, food pantries, and hot meal programs.
- plastic bags
- take-home food containers
- disposable silverware
If you have any questions, please email us and we will do our best to help find answers. E: firstname.lastname@example.org