General Updates

Best practices recommended for hunger-relief programs within the Foodbank's network

Mar 20, 2020

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to affect our region, the health and safety of the community is our primary concern. Your Foodbank is taking action to protect our hunger-relief partners, their volunteers and the neighbors being served. Below are best practices and recommendations for food programs within our network.

Physical Distancing

We strongly encourage hunger-relief programs to modify their food distribution models to reduce people-to-people interactions. Offering a drive through or to-go model encourages physical distancing. Pantries using PantryTrak: Ohio Department of Jobs & Family Services will accept a verbal consent rather than a signature to help eliminate personal interactions.


We request that all orders be placed and confirmed within 24 hours of starting the online order. Orders waiting in the system without a pickup 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.


If your organization cancels a pantry distribution, hot meal or other food assistance program, or if your church or nonprofit organization closes temporarily due to COVID-19, please contact Katie Carver Reed at 330.777.7577 or  The Foodbank is updating its website and sharing information of changes and closures with our local 211 partner, United Way of Summit County, which serves five counties in the Foodbank’s service area. Your updates help us provide the most accurate information to community members in need of food assistance.

Best Practices 

We ask our hunger-relief 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, and using the restroom.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and 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 fever, cough and shortness of breath.
  • 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 the coronavirus is affecting the Foodbank, visit, the Agency Zone of the Foodbank website or contact Mark Mitchell at 330.777.2306 or