Hayward food bank experiences an increase in demand amidst COVID-19 pandemic

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By Arwa Dahir, STAFF WRITER
Fears about COVID-19 has Americans flooding food banks at an unprecedented level. Food banks across America are now experiencing high food demand, as they provide many Americans with the only chance to obtain hot meals and groceries as supermarkets are also experiencing shortages.
The South Hayward Parish emergency food programs and Winter Warmer Shelter has assisted many families and individuals over the years. Winter Warmer Shelter operates annually between December and April providing a place to sleep and hot meals for 25 adults per night. South Hayward Parish revealed they had to turn away some people as they couldn’t support them.
“So far we still have to serve our clients, however, there is a limit to the number of people we can serve. It has gotten to the point where we are getting too many people than we can manage,” a staff member at South Hayward Parish said in an interview.
South Hayward Parish explained the several safety measures they have taken to cope with the spread of COVID-19 while prioritizing the well being of their staff, volunteers, and clients. The organization is still committed to serving and supporting community members who are disproportionately affected and are the most vulnerable during these hard times
“Because we’re giving out food, we have taken several precautions, making sure gloves and hand sanitizers are available and cleaning the areas 2-3 times a day,” a staff member at South Hayward Parish said.
Last Friday, Governor Gavin Newsome deployed the California National Guard to assist with food banks statewide. The National Guard is set to begin their deployment in Sacramento County and will begin to assist other California counties, once they request assistance with food banks. Alameda County Community Food Bank, which partners with more than 200 food banks in the area, reports that it’s currently in dire need of volunteers to help pack food bags.