Ways to make a difference while physically distancing
- Posted on Apr 21, 2020
Physical distancing measures have caused an unprecedented shutdown of American life. Along with the mental toll of isolation, the loss of jobs and school-provided meals is causing many to struggle to feed their families.
In 2017, the United States Department of Agriculture estimated that 15 million American households were "food insecure." This means that they did not always have enough food to feed everyone in their home. This was before the economic turmoil caused by the pandemic, which has caused a rise in need for free food, which food banks are struggling to meet.
We've collected a list of a few organizations providing food nationally, but be sure to check in with your local food banks, charities and restaurants as well. And, as always, check with Charity Navigator to assess the reputation and impact of a nonprofit.
Here are a few organizations working on the front lines to keep America fed:
Chef José Andrés' nonprofit World Central Kitchen is providing up to 200,000 meals a day to those in need. The organization started the hashtag #ChefsForAmerica as part of their commitment to purchasing 1 million meals from restaurants. Donate to the cause here.
The nation's largest hunger-relief organization has set up a fund to provide extra resources to their 200 food banks across the country. The primary way you can help the organization right now is by donating money, since donating food requires volunteers to sort and distribute. Donate to the Covid-19 response fund here.
This national organization's mission is to deliver food and friendship to seniors in need. The population they serve is now the demographic most at risk to contract Covid-19 and the organization is stepping up to provide more food for more people. Meals on Wheels has created a fund specifically to help local communities take care of their seniors. Donate here.
This national nonprofit works across the country to provide meals to children in need through school breakfasts and lunches, as well as summer meals. The organization is now stepping in to help provide meals to children who relied on the school system for their food. Donate here.
An international organization that has been serving communities for more than 125 years, United Way has launched a fund to help with Covid-19 related problems, including lack of food. The organization is also providing the ability to donate to specific regions in need. Donate here.