What can I say about last year? Many will look back at 2020 as one of the most challenging years in history, one that kept us apart from the things and people we love. The COVID-19 pandemic threw us into a sustained crisis mode and with a 38% increase in food insecurity.
I can’t deny this past year has been bleak. The pandemic is shining the brightest possible light on a fact we’ve known for some time – many people are one missed paycheck away from devastating circumstances. And even more people will fall deeper into poverty with little hope of digging out.
But I have also witnessed our community come together in a way I’ve not seen in my 20+ years at the Food Bank. Every single dollar you donated made it possible for us to nearly double our food distribution – whether it be a family food box, a grab-and-go meal for a child who was out of school, or keeping our partner agencies stocked. Your generosity allowed us to spend eight times our normal food purchase budget, consistently keep food on tables, put more trucks on the road, and hire a group of temporary staff to keep up with demand. Volunteers put on masks and came to our facilities to sort produce or found projects they could do for us at home. Our phones were constantly ringing and our email inboxes were and still are full of people asking, “How can we help?” or “What do you need?”