General Updates

UPDATE: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Communication

Mar 09, 2020

3.23.2020 Update

Due to our ongoing commitment to the safety of our staff and volunteers and until further notice, we are suspending volunteer activities at our facility at this time. The Foodbank will only be open to staff members, members of the National Guard and network partners picking up their food orders.

In order to remain open during this critical time, the Foodbank must reduce exposure for all and prioritize physical distancing in order to focus on its core work. We want to ensure the public that, under all circumstances, the Foodbank will remain open for the distribution of food to our network partners, and when this crisis is over, our reliance on volunteers will continue. 

To be clear, the Ohio Department of Health order to stay at home does provide exceptions for charitable food programs. All network partners are advised to identify the essential number of volunteers that they need to support their core operation while ensuring physical distancing at the same time. 
If you are in need of volunteers at your program, please use the link below and we will add you to our list, available on our website, to anyone interested in volunteering. 
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScJ3EAeYejcc9DCaL7cjIlsT870YcEU-1fC53Ii0SJZ6GPO-w/viewform

National Guard Update:
Starting Monday, 3/23, the Ohio National Guard is serving at Ohio’s Foodbanks. Thirty national guard members are serving at the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank assisting with emergency box building, warehouse operations, order delivery to our network partners, and volunteer service at hunger-relief programs. At this time, we do not have National Guard members doing home deliveries of groceries to private residences. 
For order deliveries: network partners are being selected for order deliveries based on order size and distance from the Foodbank. We are not taking requests for delivery at this time. 
For hunger-relief program support: complete the link above to request volunteer support, which includes possible support from National Guard members. 

Reminder – Update Foodbank with Program Changes:
As COVID-19 escalates in our community, we do need to make sure you are communicating effectively with the Foodbank.  If your organization cancels a pantry distribution, hot meal or other food assistance program; or if your church or non-profit organization closes temporarily due to COVID-19, please contact Katie Carver Reed at 330.777.7577 or kcarver@acrfb.org.  

Thank you all for your continued commitment to serve our community.

 

3.18.2020 Update

Dear Network Partner,

The Foodbank is committed to providing the most up-to-date information to our hunger-relief network during the COVID-19 outbreak. We are grateful to you, your volunteers, and your staff for staying engaged with your Foodbank and working to ensure our neighbors have access to food. 

Today’s update includes: 1) updated guidance on continuing food distribution activities, 2) updates to ordering processes, 3) communications with community partners, and 4) best practices.

1: Updated guidance on continuing food distribution activities

We strongly encourage partners to follow the guidance in the document below to modify distributions to drive through or to-go models that encourage social distancing. PantryTrak users should reference thePantryTrak guide below for specific instructions on changes made to the system to simplify intake. 

Modified Distribution Guide

PantryTrak COVID-19 Guide

2. Updates to Ordering Processes

We are working extremely hard to ensure we continue the best service for each of our hunger-relief partners. However, we are receiving high demand and are focused on distributing available products to community members quickly. 

As such, we request that all orders be placed and confirmed within 24 hours of starting the order. Orders waiting in the system without a corresponding appointment scheduled will be cleared every 24 hours. 

We will also be placing limits on certain highly requested items to provide access for as many partners as possible. These limits will be based on the size of the program and current distribution activities at the partner location. 

3. Communications with Community Partners

As COVID-19 escalates in our community, we do need to make sure you are communicating effectively with the Foodbank.  If your organization cancels a pantry distribution, hot meal or other food assistance program; or if your church or non-profit organization closes temporarily due to COVID-19, please contact Katie Carver Reed at 330.777.7577 or kcarver@acrfb.org.  

The Foodbank is updating our website and sharing information of changes and closures with our local 211 partner, United Way of Summit County, which serves 5 counties in the Foodbank’s service area. Your updates help us to provide the most accurate information to community members in need of food assistance. 

Further, we will be posting on our website and social media information we are sharing with the network to help people in need of food assistance understand the changes they may experience when visiting one of your food programs. We believe sharing this information will help with expectation setting at your programs and hopefully provide for ease of operation as you switch to new methods of distribution. 

Finally, we continue to gather information from our partners and attempt to connect resources in the community where it is possible. We are working to seek funding and provide opportunities for additional support as they become available. 

4. Best Practices 

We ask our network partners to continue emphasizing to their staff and volunteers to maintain personal hygiene practices which should be in place every day at any food distribution facility:  

Steps YOU can take

  • Keep your hands clean by regularly washing them in hot water and soap for a minimum of 20 seconds.  This is especially important after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing into your hand, or using the restroom. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick. 
  • Stay home from work and/or your hunger-relief program if you have flu-like symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea or fever. 
  • Cover your mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing. 
  • Get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals to ensure a healthy immune system. 
  • Use sanitizer or sanitizing wipes to keep surfaces clean that multiple people will touch, like tables, counters, phones, pens, etc. 

If you have any questions, concerns or want the most up-to-date information about how COVID-19 is affecting the Foodbank, visit the Agency Zone of the Foodbank website or contact Mark Mitchell at 330.777.2306 or mmitchell@acrfb.org.ring this crisis. Thank you for your partnership.

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