If you are a non-profit providing food services to your local community during the novel coronavirus crisis, please consult the following resources to see if you may be eligible for grant funding from Alabama community foundations:
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law on March 27th, and it includes relief options available to the non-profit community. These include the Paycheck Protection Program, the Expanded Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Emergency Grants, and the Midsize Loan program. (Source)
Download the chart, from the National Council of NonProfits, here:
For additional tips on applying for non-profit relief funds, please take a look at this article from Independent Sector.
After sending out ECHA’s “rallying cry” for Alabama food banks, employees of the Hunger Solutions Institute wanted to be some of the first people signing up for a shift at our local food bank. It’s one thing to encourage others to take that step, and it’s another to put your words into action!
We have all been instructed to stay at home to avoid catching or spreading COVID-19, so it seems a little intimidating to willingly venture into the presence of strangers and volunteer! Luckily for our fellow volunteers and us, the Food Bank of East Alabama was prepared with a safe and organized environment in which we could serve our community.
The sign up process was simple: visit the website, find an open slot, and add one’s name to the list. After signing in for our shift, we were provided with quick and thorough training for our task and given clear instructions. Sara and I (Malerie) spent roughly two hours of our morning inspecting donated food items to make sure they were not expired or unsafe, and then we sorted them into categories. It was simple work, easily performed even with social-distancing measures in place. And when we had been home each day with the same scenery and company, this was a welcome change of pace!
Here are some suggestions for anyone interested in volunteering at the local food bank:
Wear comfortable clothes and closed-toe shoes.
Observe CDC guidelines for social distancing. Wear a mask if possible.
Frequently wash your hands and use hand sanitizer.
Encourage friends and family to join you! (Check with the food bank regarding appropriate ages for child volunteers).
Stay home if you suspect you may be sick or you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.
This is a perfect opportunity for low-risk individuals to serve the community during a time in which there is such great need!
Have you been volunteering in your community? Let us know! We are happy to share your experience and provide others with ideas as to how they can safely and effectively help meet the needs of Alabama citizens during this time!
Recent news stories have indicated that many food banks throughout the nation are struggling to meet the demand for food assistance. In spite of receiving $450 million dollars from recent federal legislation to meet the needs of the food-insecure, the numbers of individuals currently accessing food banks suggest this will not meet the needs long-term. (Source)
Alabama received nearly 81,000 new unemployment claims last week alone (Source), so it’s no surprise that a number of food banks throughout the state have felt demand soar in recent days as people who previously had a reliable source of income now find themselves short on funds. Local food bank needs include money, food donations, and volunteers (Source).
The Hunger Solutions Institute is currently brainstorming ways to use our partner networks (Presidents United to Solve Hunger [PUSH], Universities Fighting World Hunger [UFWH], and the Alabama Campus Coalition for Basic Needs [ACCBN]) to coordinate efforts throughout the state and nation-wide to make sure families are receiving the food they need. We encourage all of the stakeholders for End Child Hunger in Alabama to consider how they may do the same to support local food banks!
Here are some ideas to send out a “rallying cry” for Alabama food banks:
Inform: Make sure your website and/or social media networks include information about the need for donations and volunteers!
Recruit: Encourage your team and patrons to seek out opportunities to volunteer. The state-wide website, ALtogetherAlabama.org, makes it easy for interested parties to add themselves to a database for volunteer opportunities. Or you can find information about volunteering at food banks here!
Encourage Donations: The Food Bank of Alabama Association makes it easy to donate to your local food bank by linking all the donation locations in one place: Click here to find opportunities to donate!
Share What Works: We know that each of our ECHA stakeholders brings something unique to our community. You know the culture of your organization and how you may best serve – directly, or by motivating others – those who are in need! Please let us know how you are helping meet the needs of Alabama’s citizens so we can share your great ideas!
No Kid Hungry is hosting a webinar on Tuesday, April 21st, at 2pm to discuss best practices for serving meals during the novel coronavirus pandemic. Participants may register here.
Due to the trouble many people have been having accessing information on the USDA’s Meals 4 Kids website , we are posting the user-friendly map here!
Please note that some sites visible on this map indicate end dates that have already passed, but many of these sites continue to serve meals for children. We recommend contacting the meal site directly, or following up on the site’s webpage or Facebook page, for additional information.
According the the American Association on Health and Disability, “The Lakeshore Foundation is located in Birmingham, Alabama and is an internationally renowned organization. Lakeshore Foundation works closely with the National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD) at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, AL.”
Lakeshore Foundation-NCHPAD is trying to identify what people with disabilities and people with chronic conditions need most during the COVID-19 crisis. Please answer the questions using this survey link to help us figure out the best ways to support the community during this time. If you have any additional questions, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The questions are included to help us understand what is most needed, but if you feel uncomfortable answering a question, you can skip it. All answers are anonymous.
Please note, the survey will be active through Friday April 17, 2020.
Thank you to the Alabama Partnership for Children for sharing information about this survey with ECHA.
Governor Kay Ivey announced the launch of Altogether Alabama, an online resource for Alabama residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. The site was developed in collaboration with Opportunity Alabama, a non-profit dedicated to supporting low-income “opportunity zones” throughout the state.
Governor Ivey describes the site as “a hub of up-to-date information about assistance programs that can help businesses and workers who are hurting. It will also connect those who want to extend a helping hand to those who need help.”
The website allows opportunities for individuals or businesses in need of assistance, and individuals or businesses desiring to give assistance, to locate helpful resources quickly. The website is designed to be a comprehensive source of information for Alabama citizens navigating the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Alabama individuals in need of SNAP assistance may apply at the following link:
Individuals seeking assistance online must first create an account on the website. Printed applications are available in both English and Spanish, and they can be faxed or mailed to the individual’s nearest County DHR office, found on the map here.