Loaves & Fishes, June 2020
Message from Director Dell Deierling
Unprecedented Times Have
Brought Unprecedented Support
What a wild ride it has been for the Marysville Community Food Bank these last few months. Our volunteers, staff, board—and those we serve—have all been through so much.
In January, February and early March, we faced a challenge we’d set for
ourselves. Reconfiguring our layout, creating new processes, reassigning
volunteer roles and educating our clients consumed us as we pushed to
implement the latest in food banking practices: the grocery store model. This way of service allows clients to ‘shop’ the Food Bank unassisted, go where they want within the shopping area, select the foods they want (within guidelines) and handle the food themselves. Implementing this new way of serving was a huge step that required a tremendous effort from all involved.
We ran the model for one day on Monday, March 9. The very next day, the
potential risks of COVID-19 forced us to start reversing our practices. By Friday of that week we asked our clients to remain outside. Our processes changed daily as we scrambled to figure out how to adapt to the requirements of distancing while also meeting the huge spike in the number families in need of food. When the sudden peak in unemployment hit, our numbers skyrocketed from an average of 329 families per week to as many as 499 on our highest week.