Stay at Home Order Update 3/23:
Per Homeland Security, Food Bank staff and volunteers are considered essential workers. We do ask that you continue to follow our volunteer policies and stay home if you are considered high risk.
This is a difficult time for all of us. As Northeast Louisiana makes changes and experiences closures to schools, businesses, and services in response to the coronavirus crisis, we anticipate a surge in need. It is incredibly important that we continue food distribution during this time. The Food Bank has mobilized to ensure our most vulnerable neighbors have access to the food they need during this uncertain time.
At the Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana, there is no higher priority than the safety of our volunteers, staff and the community we serve. The Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana is actively monitoring developments related to COVID-19 (coronavirus). Keeping a clean facility and following best practices for food safety are part of our everyday procedures. Due to COVID-19, we are taking extra precautions, including increased cleaning and sanitizing of our facility. We are following the guidance of the CDC, local and state health agencies. Feeding America is also offering guidance specific to food banks.
Concerns regarding the local threat of Coronavirus and preparations for any actual local cases of transmission are being addressed by multiple local health agencies, hospitals, emergency management personnel, elected officials and community leaders in Northeast Louisiana.
Here are some proactive measures the Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana is taking:
· In addition to our year-round daily cleaning measures, throughout the day and in between every volunteer group, we are sanitizing common surface areas including door hardware, tables, seats, etc.
· We are in ongoing communications with our partners, staff and volunteers to maintain safe practices that will ensure nutritious food continues to be distributed throughout our twelve parish service area.
· Continue to monitor developments with Feeding America and the CDC
· Volunteer activities are open at this time. We have implemented a strict cleaning and health policy and we are limiting group size. We are currently only accepting volunteers over age 18. We ask that you please consider staying home if you are high risk.
Volunteers will also be asked not to volunteer if any of the below apply:
· Are you (or someone in your household) experiencing flu-like symptoms (defined by coughing, fever, respiratory symptoms or stomach virus symptoms or have had these symptoms recently?
· Have you traveled to China, South Korea, Iran, Italy or Japan within the past 14 days?
· Have you knowingly had contact with a traveler who recently visited China, South Korean, Iran, Italy or Japan within the past 14 days, or a person who was experiencing flu like symptoms within the past 14 days?
We are working with and supporting our partners to help them plan safe distributions in order to continue to assist food-insecure community members.
It is incredibly important that we continue food distribution during this time. Many of the families that we serve live paycheck to paycheck, and this current challenge is going to be incredibly difficult for them.
Here’s how the community can help:
DONATE: When people turn to us for help, we turn to you. $1 can help provide 5 meals. The impact of this pandemic is going to be felt by so many of our neighbors – especially our seniors, children, and low-income families. Click HERE to make a secure online monetary donation to help support our emergency response and readiness. Call 318-322-3567 to make your gift over the phone.
VOLUNTEER: We need volunteers to continue our regular food distribution, as well as any potential increased demand for emergency food. We are committed to the well-being of our volunteers, staff and clients. We are currently only accepting volunteers over age 18. We ask that you please consider staying home if you are high risk. If you are healthy and willing to volunteer, please Click HERE to sign up via our website or call 318-322-3567.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF: The safety and well-being of our clients, partners, volunteers and staff is our top priority. Please continue to follow the guidance of public health officials. Visit the CDC.gov website for more information.
· Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; dry hands with a clean towel or air dry hands.
· Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are unavailable.
· Cover your mouth with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing.
· Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
· Stay home when you are sick.
· Avoid contact with people who are sick.
· Also, clean high-touch areas – counters, tables, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, nightstands – every day using household disinfecting cleaning spray or wipes according to label directions.
How to Get Help
Grocery Assistance: To find the food pantry near you, click here to visit our Pantry Locator page. Please remember to call before you go, as some pantries are updating their distributions. You can also call the Food Bank at 318-322-3567 for information.
SNAP (Food Stamps): At this time, there is no option for emergency or disaster SNAP (DSNAP). However, if you are not already a SNAP recipient and have a food need, we encourage you to apply for benefits. Click Here to visit the DCFS website to apply online or get more information. You can also call the Food Bank Mon-Fri between 8-4 and ask for Jerllisa – 318-322-3567.
School Feeding Sites
We will continue to keep our community updated through this website, the media and social media channels should any developments or changes occur in our operations or those of our partners.