COVID-19 Effects on Food Insecurity
FIND Food Bank has been especially busy since the coronavirus pandemic shut down our Desert Region in March. Given that 1 in 4 jobs in the Desert Region are tourism-based, and further Covid-19 support from the federal government has been delayed, the number of individuals visiting our food bank has increased by 110%.
In June, the unemployment rate across the Coachella Valley has remained 2-8% higher than the average for Riverside County, which is 15.8% (compared to about 3% before the pandemic). The summer months were especially grueling and slow for the local economy, and this economic slowdown was exacerbated by the cancellations of major, profitable events like the BNP Paribas Tennis Tournament, Coachella, and Stagecoach. According to the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership (CVEP), “These cancellations alone have deprived Coachella Valley businesses of roughly $2 billion in revenue and caused approximately 600,000 visiting tourists to abort their plans.”
FIND Food Bank’s Response
In prior years, we distributed 12+ million pounds of food assistance annually to an average of 90,000 individuals each month across our service area. Since March, we now feed…
When FIND lost 75% of our volunteers due to new age restrictions, allowing only those who are 18-64 years old volunteer during the pandemic, we called the National Guard to help meet the greater demands for our services.
FIND said goodbye to our National Guardsmen at the end of September, but luckily have two more members of the Guard with us until the end of the year. That means we need even more help to feed all of our clients in need of food assistance this year. Please volunteer in our warehouse or mobile distribution sites to ensure everyone in our Coachella Valley Desert Region has full stomachs!
FIND Food Bank has been working closely with County Supervisor Manny Perez’s office and Riverside County Dept. of Public Health to ensure that there is unity with all agencies to support our community with food assistance at this time…
County of Riverside Department of Public Health Safety Guidelines
PLEASE NOTE: All of our sites are practicing Social Distancing and Face Covering techniques as required by the Riverside County Public Health Department. Please make sure to abide by the site’s policies when you arrive to ensure that everyone has the ability to receive food quickly and with the safety precautions our County and State public health officials are requiring. These include:
- All Clients are required to wear a face covering when going to a Food Distribution site, including drive-thru food distributions.
- When standing in line to receive food provide at least 2 arms length of space between the person in front of you and behind you.
- Wash your hands regularly and use hand sanitizers prior to coming to the site and at the site if you have hand sanitizer with you.
- Only 1 person from the household should attend the site to pick up food for your family. Please leave other members in the parking lot to wait for you when you come away from the food area. They can meet you then to help.
- Leave children at home. Only bring children to the food site if you have no other child care options.
- Step away from the line or outside if you need to cough or sneeze. Use your elbow to shield your face.
- STAY HOME IF YOU ARE SHOWING ANY OF THESE SIGNS: Coughing, sneezing, fever or chills, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea.
- You are able to have someone pick up food for you on your behalf and deliver it to you.