• The Working Poor individuals and families need food assistance occasionally, yet it they lose work hours or jobs due to CV-19, they need food assistance weekly. Most often, they have means for transportation.
  • 1 in 3 children are already food-insecure due to low family income. They receive federal meals at school, and the three school districts, plus the accommodation school are most likely making grab-and-go breakfast and lunch bags available for the schools that are now closed.
  • Persons without transportation – the homebound, persons without cars – need food transported to them weekly. Their locations are subsidized housing apartments and low-income trailer parks. Most of these people are older, often retired on fixed incomes that no longer allow them to buy both food and medicines. They have to choose, and their food needs are greater in the third and fourth weeks of the month, when their money runs out. Persons Who Care helps with transportation with volunteers.
  • Local food assistance programs are facing at least twice their usual number of clients, and some triple that number. St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance makes weekly deliveries to local food banks and pantries, hot meals programs, and residential programs. Each program places an order for next week’s food. This week St. Mary’s delivered the usual amount of food, and the local programs had to stretch it to feed 2 or 3 times the number of clients who have lost work hours or jobs. We’ll see if St. Mary’s is able to keep pace with expanded food orders for next week.
  • Local food banks and pantries lack PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) supplies – hand sanitizers, masks, gloves, and at times hand-washing stations -for contact with clients. They are using the drive-through process recommended by the Governor where feasible. Those that serve the homeless let clients pick up a box of food, and those that deliver food to the homebound drop a box at the front door. The PPE supply chain has been exhausted at present, yet will gear up in coming months, so PPE orders need to be made, hopefully from a central source, such as our county government.
  • Loss of volunteers has occurred in most of the food banks and pantries due to the lack of PPE. Programs have had to recruit high school kids who are out of school or make special appeals for volunteers to address their doubled or tripled workloads. If the shortage of volunteers increases, some programs will have to close temporarily.
  • Extra purchases of food occurred this week at food assistance programs with funds available to buy food from supermarkets. Most programs do not have deep pockets. If their client numbers keep expanding, they will not be able to purchase extra food.
  • Hot meals programs, including senior centers, have converted to take-out lines and have run out of food with sharp increases in the number of clients.
  • SNAP and WIC applicants are able to go online to enroll without a personal interview during this crisis, and SNAP work requirements for Yavapai County have been withdrawn during this crisis. However, most persons in need remain unaware of these options. Wildfire, formerly known as Arizona Community Action Association, is searching for nonprofits willing to promote online enrollments for persons in dire need.
  • Some Chambers of Commerce are making available to the public lists of restaurants offering meals for take-out and delivery to keep restaurants in business and reduce layoffs. At Cornucopia, we are creating a webpage for restaurants in the Verde Valley area because most of our communities are not listing their restaurants. We encourage a similar restaurant list for the Quad Cities area.
  • Farmers and ranchers are facing the question of what crops to plant, if any, during this crisis. Across America, farms and ranches have suffered from loss of international sales due to tariff wars, and their bankruptcy rates are at an all-time high. If restaurants remain closed for months, many will close, reducing retail sales for our farmers and ranchers. Cornucopia will facilitate farmers and ranchers making connection with several funding sources for loans and grants, including USDA. We’ll work with the Arizona Farm Bureau  and the Arizona Cattle Growers Association.

 Collectively we will meet the need in our community!