With COVID-19 causing the temporary closure of businesses, many Americans are left unemployed. Those people are now relying on food banks to help feed their families, but the virus has affected usual operations of the food banks.
“We have had an increase in need in new ways,” Keri Keck from Frisco Family Services said. ”Over 70% of those who have been applying for services are new clients. They have not needed support before. We have seen about a 25% increase in need so far at the food pantry.”
Before COVID-19, Minnie’s Food Pantry in Plano served about 5,000 people each month, now they serve about 5,000 people each week. Forty-five % of families that Minnie’s helps serve are first-time clients.
“Some of our regular donors have also been affected as households or small businesses due to the economical effects of COVID-19 and are not able to provide the resources that they once were able to give,” Zoya Jackson from Minnie’s Food Pantry said. “Additionally, when you factor in the growing need for food assistance along with the increased cost of goods, as many stores are having difficulty stocking their own shelves, we are left with a much larger expense that we did not budget for as we were not expecting the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has slowly started reopening the state, with salons opening May 8 and gyms May 18. Although nonessential businesses are reopening, businesses have new protocols in order to keep people safe.
“Currently our food pantry has been able to continue to support those in our community in need, but in a more safe and healthy way,” Keck said. “We are historically a client choice pantry, which allows those needing food to come inside and get what works best for them. During this time, we have been bagging set groceries and placing them in the trunk of clients’ vehicles.”
Those in need of assistance can visit Frisco Family Services at their main office located at 8780 Third Street in Frisco. There you will fill out a short application and can visit the food pantry. If you are interested in donating you can visit the food pantry at 9085 Dogwood Street, in Frisco.
“Our donation process has changed as well to contactless,” Keck said. “There are bins outside to place food items or a staff member will retrieve the items from the trunk of a donor vehicle. There has been great support from our faith based partners, community members, grocery partners and more.”
In order to donate to Minnie’s Food Pantry or Frisco Family Services you can visit their sites to make a financial donation. Donations will help these organizations to support their clients during this time.
“Many corporations, organizations and individuals in the community have stepped up to the plate to help us continue to serve those in need, and we are extremely grateful for those who have taken action in the fight against hunger,” Jackson said.