The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the entire nation and people who struggle to make ends meet have been hit the hardest. Feeding America® member food banks across the country have reported an increase in need for food assistance, yet early reports indicate that 67% are also in need of volunteer support.
Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization and Team Rubicon, a nonprofit which serves communities by mobilizing veterans to respond to disasters and humanitarian crises, are partnering to ensure that distributions at local food banks are not interrupted during this unprecedented time.
“The Feeding America network of food banks is facing surges in demand, declines in food donations and volunteers, and disruptions to normal operating procedures, as a result of the COVID-19 crisis,” said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America. “We are proud to partner with Team Rubicon to bring additional volunteer resources at a time of acute national need.”
In an average month, around two million volunteers across the Feeding America network of food banks and agencies help to sort, pack and distribute millions of pounds of food. The pandemic has resulted in a significant decrease in regular volunteers, many of whom were corporate groups and seniors.
Team Rubicon will deploy Greyshirts, trained volunteers primarily made up of veterans, to local food banks in need through its #NeighborsHelpingNeighbors campaign. Greyshirts make up 120,000 volunteers across the country who are assisting in a wide range of activities, including sorting food, preparing emergency food boxes, and staffing drive-thru food distribution and other warehouse operations.
“Now, more than ever, Americans are being asked to do their part against the war on coronavirus. At Team Rubicon, helping people in need is our guiding North Star, especially during this time where all of America must step in to help our neighbors and most vulnerable populations. We knew we could adapt our traditional response efforts to help distribute and fulfill meals to those impacted by COVID-19 and found a partner in Feeding America,” said Jake Wood, CEO and Co-founder of Team Rubicon. “Both organizations immediately saw the benefit of joining forces and the power of what we could do by combining our efforts. To date, we are proud and humbled to have served over 740,000 meals with the Feeding America network of food banks throughout local communities, across the country.”
To find your local food bank and volunteer, visit https://www.feedingamerica.org/find-your-local-foodbank.
About Feeding America
Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, we provide meals to more than 40 million people each year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.
About Team Rubicon
Team Rubicon is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that serves communities by mobilizing veterans to continue their service by leveraging their skills and experience to help people prepare, respond, and recover from disasters and humanitarian crises. Amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, Team Rubicon has developed extensive protocols that allow its volunteers, also known as Greyshirts, to swiftly and safely continue to deliver on its core mission of disaster response. Team Rubicon has also adapted its capabilities to respond to the pandemic by providing assistance such as food delivery to at-risk populations, coordination and logistics support for those in temporary quarantine, and opportunities for volunteers to help their neighbors through individual acts of service. Additionally, Team Rubicon has helped local, state, and federal partners with direct medical response including running mobile testing sites, decompressing hospitals, and providing on-site medical assistance. Visit www.teamrubiconusa.org for more information.