The North Texas Food Bank’s Response to Covid-19
We are optimistic that with the growing widespread availability of the vaccine, more North Texans will be able to return to work and school and economic recovery can begin. But we also know that many of our neighbors will still feel the impacts of the pandemic for months or even years to come. We will continue to be on the frontlines ensuring those in need have nutritious food and working with our Partner Agencies to increase access to additional services that will help our neighbors regain self-sufficiency.
The North Texas Food Bank is following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), our national partner Feeding America and local entities including the Dallas County Health & Human Services (DCHHS) concerning COVID-19.
Meeting the Need in North Texas
NTFB has welcomed back volunteers to sort and pack food at our Perot Family Campus in Plano Thursday-Saturday. To keep our volunteers and staff safe we have implemented new policies and appreciate everyone's cooperation.
- The Mass Care Task Force is now active. This is a collaborative partnership between NTFB, The Red Cross, The Salvation Army, and Volunteer Now.
- We are working with local school districts to ensure continuity of our Food 4 Kids program as well as the School Pantry program.
- Our Mobile Pantry program is now exclusively a drive-thru model to create a “low touch” experience.
When restaurants and businesses shut down due to COVID-19, NTFB worked with Shfitsmart and a fund at the Communities Foundation of Texas called Get Shift Done to create family meal boxes. This partnership provided income to displaced hospitality employees while also providing a critical service to the community.
Key Statistics & Information
- Together over the last year, we have been able to provide more than 119 million meals to our neighbors. Still, the need continues. Join the North Texas Food Bank and our network of Partner Agencies so we can continue our vision of a hunger-free North Texas.
- Texas unemployment in April was 6.7 percent, down slightly from 6.9 percent in March. On June 26, Texans will lose access to the additional $300 monthly unemployment benefits offered by the federal government.
- Texas leads the nation in the highest projected number of people (not rates) who may experience food insecurity in 2021 with 4.8 million overall and 1.7 million children, according to new Feeding America projections.
- Since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020 through April 2021, NTFB has provided access to more than 142M meals, a 43% YoY increase.
- In April, NTFB provided access to more than 10.1M meals, a 5% increase from April 2020.
- For the week of May 17, NTFB distributed almost 1.8M nutritious meals, a decrease of 17% from this week last year.
- For the week of May 24, NTFB distributed almost 1.8M nutritious meals, a decrease of 12% from this week last year.
Precautionary Hygiene Measures
Right now, the food bank's volunteer and distribution efforts are continuing thanks to the support of the workers employed thanks to the Get Shift Done fund. Additional precautionary hygiene measures and contingencies are in place to maintain the health and wellness of our staff, Get Shift Done team members as well as those that receive our food:
- We are taking necessary measures to ensure all employees, visitors, and persons served who are experiencing any symptoms of illness stay home and avoid contact.
- Prior to each shift NTFB staffers and anyone entering our building will have their temperature checked.
- We are creating additional spacing between the groups working on the volunteer floor.
- External facing staff have been provided with sanitizing kits to safeguard themselves and the public.
- Hand sanitizing stations are available across the volunteer floor.
- Tools used during each shift will be cleaned after each shift.
- High touch surfaces will be cleaned frequently.
- We are following the recommendations of the CDC to help stop the spread of germs and have posted their guidelines in public areas as a reminder for those coming to the Food Bank.
- All team members will be prompted to wash hands before and during shifts and we will also have gloves available.
In addition, we are also providing the following suggestions to employees, volunteers, partners and other supporters:
- If you feel ill, stay home and avoid exposing others
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and help young children do the same. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve (not your hands)
For additional information and resources please visit the CDC website or call the Texas Department of State Health Services hotline: 1-877-570-9779 with hours: 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., Monday - Friday.
Thank you for your continued support of the North Texas Food Bank, we are committed to serving our neighbors in need.