Monday, June 29, 2020

Rural food banks face new challenges amid pandemic

Food banks across the nation are struggling to keep up with demand as unemployed families seek help during the pandemic. But rural food banks are dealing with "the additional challenges of getting food to those who live in isolated places with fewer volunteers and donations," Emily Ness reports for WDIO-TV in Duluth.

According to the director at Second Harvest North Central Food Bank in Duluth, food must be packed up and distributed instead of allowing people to come in and take it from the shelf, in order to maintain social distancing. That takes more volunteers, and volunteers tend to be senior citizens. But Second Harvest, in accordance with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has barred seniors from volunteering during the pandemic. That leaves them with fewer volunteers, Ness reports.

Second Harvest is also spending more money distributing the food in rural areas since there are so many new people who need help from the food bank. That means increased costs for gas and mileage, Ness reports.

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