Food banks are being hit hard by COVID-19

With the challenges facing local food banks, there are ways to help


Feeding America

Feeding America is a nationwide food bank that encompasses many individual centers, including the Placer Food Bank.

A class of students haul boxes full of canned foods from all of their classes up to the front of their school. Large trucks wait there, ready to be loaded. The boxes line almost the entire circle, stacked three-high.

This is what would happen in most schools’ food drives. Students would bring in cans or nonperishables, uniting to help those who are poverty-stricken. Because schools are now closed, this isn’t happening anymore. 

“Sacramento’s regional food bank is sending out an SOS,” stated an article in the Sacramento Bee

“Serving 8,000 people weekly at two locations, the Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services drive-through operation is just one example of Northern California’s response to high food insecurity, which has been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic,” said an article in the High Country News

What is a food bank?

A food bank is a non-profit organization that collects and distributes food to hunger-relief charities. The food banks store the food until it is needed in a food pantry, or a distribution center.

Food bank organizations

One of the main food bank organizations is Feeding America. Feeding America is a nationwide organization made up of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries.

A local food bank linked with Feeding America is Placer Food Bank. They give meals to families in need when schools are closed. Currently, due to COVID-19, they are not accepting food donations. However, they are still accepting financial donations. Placer Food Bank has been dispensing food since 1970. The organization was founded to provide services to low-income and needy individuals and families in Roseville and surrounding areas. Placer Food Bank, with their backpack program, have served over 4000 students monthly, with over 17600 snack bags distributed. With their School Pantry program, 560 families have been nourished, with over 8000 family bags distributed monthly. 

History of Placer Food Bank 

However, Placer Food Bank has been hit hard by COVID-19.

“The impacts of the coronavirus pandemic are hitting everyone hard, especially local food banks. The Placer Food Bank is working to cope with new challenges and hoping they can further team up with the community to help those in need,” said an article from ABC10.

Another local food bank that isn’t linked with Feeding America is the Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services. They provide more than just food. They “aim to feed their community, literally and figuratively.” In 2018-2019, SFBFS’s network issued over 28 million pounds of groceries throughout the county.

How you can help

Search online for your local food banks. They will have websites detailing what they might need the most. Some Sacramento food banks that are accepting food donations are Orangevale-Fair Oaks Food Bank, California Emergency Foodlink and Twin Lakes Food Bank.

On Feeding America’s Take Action page, they recommend either donating, volunteering your time or advocating for certain campaigns.

On the Placer Food Bank’s Ways to Give page, they provide options for sponsoring the organization, shopping on Amazon and holding a food drive, as well as Other Ways to Help. However, due to COVID-19, Placer Food Bank is currently not accepting food donations.

For SFBFS’s website, they recommend donating, holding drives and volunteering.

The Outcome

Feeding America, by collaborating with their partners and people like you, hope to guarantee access to enough nutritious food for people struggling with poverty and hunger, ultimately working towards ending hunger altogether.

Placer Food Bank’s mission is “To sustain communities by nourishing families experiencing food insecurity, educating the community about hunger, while advocating for hunger relief.”