COVID-19 became an ugly word for the food bank fast. Not just because of the virus implications, but because of the panic it released, sending folks to hoard food and anticipate the worst. It’s not our first community emergency, so we immediately shifted to our disaster relief mode. Suppliers were contacted, volunteers were mobilized, and pantries as we knew them were transformed to offer food in a drive-thru capacity. Unprecedented numbers of individuals were given food resources and other essentials. With some courageous, faithful volunteers and churches wanting to make a difference, we were able to see our communities at their best.
At the time of newsletter preparation in April, we received this note from Manuel Flores, executive director of North Valley Caring Services:
“North Valley Caring Services (NVCS) has partnered with the Valley Food Bank for over four years now. During this time we have fed thousands of families. As a further result, we are often called upon to minister to the most vulnerable of our community.
As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread and bring uncertainties, the Valley Food Bank and NVCS have been expected to “toe the line” and we have done so. We have ramped up food distribution for we know that the need is now greater. But we are also humans with families who do not want to be infected and in turn infect others. We are pulled in various directions, and at times we argue with ourselves. But at the end of the day and at the beginning of the morning, we pray that we might be protected and given discernment, and we show up. We have learned to rely on His grace, His mercy and His power.
We are so proud of our partnership with the Valley Food Bank, for in this partnership we find ourselves challenged every day. Because of the generosity of Will Hernandez and his staff and volunteers, we on the frontlines are able to share the love of Christ with others, one box of food at a time.”
We also received this note from Silvia Robles, NVCS’ workforce and communications coordinator:
“During these difficult times, it is important to remain united to keep serving our community members and the most vulnerable. Due to the pandemic COVID-19, many businesses and organizations have been forced to close down. However, Valley Food Bank, along with other donors and food banks, continue to demonstrate their courage and compassion by selflessly working the frontlines.”