As a line of cars wound around the block, one family braved the pouring rain to walk up and grab their box of food.

“What brought you here today?”

The young father of two answered without hesitation, “We need food.”

The answer is simple, but the problem is anything but. More families are finding themselves answering this question the same way as the economic impact of COVID-19 is felt across our community. For some, school closures have meant their children no longer have access to the healthy, nutritious options that were part of their school routines. Others find themselves out of work in one of the worst recessions our nation has ever experienced and needing to use a food pantry for the first time. Whatever the reason, the result has been a dramatic increase in client visits for most food pantries in the Marion Polk Food Share network. Some agencies have seen increases of visits over 50%.

For Shawna, a mother of a 7-year-old son, the end of the month is always tough. The COVID-19 pandemic has only made things more difficult. “It’s been stressful with my son at home. He misses his friends, and I don’t know anything about home schooling. It’s really hard. [This food means] I can feed my family.” With so much uncertainty in the months ahead, it is a relief for many that our community has prioritized helping those in need. Marion Polk Food Share will continue to operate as an essential service during these difficult times.

The support from our community makes it possible to ensure anyone who needs food in the coming weeks will have access to it. Thank you for all you do!

See How You’re Helping Provide Emergency Food