With cases of COVID-19 identified in the Washington metropolitan region, we are identifying and planning for ways in which our community may be impacted in the coming weeks and months.
As the area’s largest hunger relief organization, the Capital Area Food Bank has significant regional infrastructure and storage capacity that can be mobilized quickly to assist those who may be in need of food, whether due to supply chain interruptions, inability to leave the home due to illness, inadequate funds to purchase food for multiple weeks, or other factors. We are actively coordinating with our network of 450+ local nonprofit organizations, as well as regional emergency preparedness authorities including DC’s VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) and DC’s Department of Human Services, about ways we can leverage that infrastructure if needed. Conversations are also underway with other regional planning authorities in Maryland and Virginia.
While the impact of COVID-19 on our region’s health continues to evolve alongside the number of cases, the area is also preparing for potential secondary economic impacts. These include declines in tourism or local event attendance that could disproportionately affect those working in the service industry – many of whom are our clients. We have ordered additional food in anticipation of an uptick in need among those impacted by these factors, and we will monitor data on regional economic projections and feedback from our network of nonprofit partners in the coming weeks and months, increasing our supply of food if required.
For members of the public who wish to provide support, we are experiencing a shortage of volunteers, and are in critical need of help sorting and packing food in our warehouse and assisting at our offsite food distributions. To learn more and sign up, visit volunteer.capitalareafoodbank.org.