Understandably, many questions are coming in and we’re doing our best during this evolving situation to keep everyone informed about how they can best support the Food Bank and our neighbors. Here are the answers to some recent frequently asked questions.
I heard the National Guard is helping food banks, do you still need me to volunteer?
Yes, we currently have open shifts in our Concord warehouse and we definitely can use the help giving out food at distributions.
Do you have gloves I can wear while volunteering?
Yes. We provide gloves while volunteers work in both warehouses and while serving food at distributions.
Do you have masks I can wear while volunteering?
No, we do not provide masks for volunteers, however, you are welcome – and encouraged – to bring your own.
What about social distancing?
We’re doing the best that we can to accommodate social distancing where possible. Volunteers in our sorting rooms/warehouses will be grouped into 10 people or fewer.
Would you rather receive food donations or money donations?
Though we greatly appreciate food donations, the majority of food we are giving out right now is in the form of emergency boxes with specific items that we are purchasing. Due to our volume, we are able to purchase food at a significant discount compared to retail pricing and your donation dollars go further. So financial donations are best at this time.
Are your programs open?
All Food Bank programs are still running with the exception of a couple Senior Food Program sites. For up to date info on Food Bank programs, please visit our website at foodbankccs.org/getfood. Most partner agencies are still open; to confirm you can call them directly or call the Food Bank at 1-855-309-FOOD.
Can I go to the Food Bank to pick up food?
We don’t give out food directly from the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. Food is handed out at hundreds of sites throughout the community. To find a distribution near you, visit foodbankccs.org/getfood or call 1-855-309-FOOD.
How do I know the food you’re distributing is safe?
As a Feeding America member food bank, we are already held to the highest standards of food safety. To help stop the spread of COVID-19, we have implemented the use of gloves to handle even nonperishable food and we are now pre-bagging produce before it leaves our warehouses.
How are pantries/soup kitchens you partner with changing their food distributions to make them safer for clients?
The Food Bank is in close communication with our partner pantries and soup kitchens and offers regular guidance on best practices such as not allowing unwell volunteers to attend distribution, requiring volunteers to frequently wash hands and use gloves, offering pre-bagged food items, limiting the number of guests allowed inside at one time, using signage and floor markers to facilitate 6 ft. social distancing, and utilizing new methods such as drive-through distributions.
Can you deliver food?
Unfortunately, no. In order to reach a large number of people at one time, we have distributions where we require food to be picked up. We do not have the capability to do individual deliveries. We recommend you reach out to Meals on Wheels or visit 211.org for assistance with home delivery requests.
Know someone in need?
Can you help people file for food benefits?
Yes, we have employees who can help people file for CalFresh (nationally known as SNAP). Please note we are not able to help people file for unemployment. For help with CalFresh visit foodbankccs.org/calfresh.
Do you know of any other local resources to help during this time?
Call 211 or visit 211.org to find local services.can call 211 (their staff can assist in a variety of languages) or visit 211.org. 211 is a call center that has access to a large database of all social services resources.
As the needs of the community change during this health and financial crisis, stay informed at foodbankccs.org/covid19.