The coronavirus may have closed down sports, restaurants and schools, but food banks throughout Pierce County have seen that their biggest number of traffic. Nourish Pierce County is the largest network of food banks using over 23 websites across the county, such as websites in Roy, Graham and Edgewood. Based on CEO Sue Potter, Nourish Pierce County is anticipating the maximum number of people in its 40-year old history. Potter said she hoped to be the case because many individuals started to lose their schools and jobs were shut down. She stated the numbers are twice of what they had been in 2008’s Great Recession. Similarly, Jim Beaudoin, the chief executive officer of the Puyallup Food Bank, was giving out roughly 10 lbs more meals per individual and serving twice as a lot of people this past year. The boost in traffic means a greater demand for volunteers. Since most of NPC’s volunteers are at the most vulnerable age group to deal with the coronavirus, there’s been a drop in the total amount of aid they generally get, Potter said. The National Guard has stepped up to assist food banks throughout Pierce County and are operating at the end of July. “We’ve had around 63 National Guard folks deployed with us since April, and we are currently going to be losing all of them at the end of July,” Potter stated. “We are really working hard to recruit new volunteers to come out and take over the roles that the Guard had played.” Ahead of the coronavirus, people could walk throughout the meals bank and pick out exactly what they desired. But because constraints limited the quantity of contact between individuals, Nourish Pierce County and the Puyallup Food Bank are boxing meals and bringing the boxes to people’ cars. “The model we used to have just wasn’t going to work because then we needed to practice social distancing and wipe down computers and grocery carts,” Potter stated. “I mean that’s going through a lot of supplies and a lot of risks, so we quickly switched to a pre-packaged box, drive-thru, curbside system.” Ed and Rachel Wright, who’ve been married for 72 decades, take a look at a Nourish cellular food bank nearly weekly. The new system “goes pretty fast and we don’t have to wait in line that long,” that they stated. After the coronavirus struck, Beaudoin was stressed how his staff would continue to function. As a result of this Safeway and Albertsons Corporation, the Puyallup Food Bank has managed to operate from an older 40,000-square-foot storefront. “They agreed to let us use their space that they had still under lease for up to a year,” Beaudoin stated. “The space allows us to continue using volunteers because now we have enough space to actually create social distancing and putting in space between items.” For the majority of their providers, food banks fundraise for virtually everything they do. Potter reported that the majority of the food that they spread is from contributions or purchased via fundraising. On account of this coronavirus, Beaudoin and Potter also have seen support from the authorities. More than $2 million was allocated to food banks throughout Pierce County in the CARES act. In accordance with Pierce County’s Cares Act Funding Outcomes, $750,000 has been spent between June 7 and July. Between June 1 and May 31, 1.61 million pounds of food were distributed by the emergency food system and more than 54,000 households have been served. Another $1 million has been considered by the county council at a proposition out of Councilmember Derek Young of District 7. “There definitely has been an impact from the CARES act,” Beaudoin stated. “We have been able to use that funding right away. I want to say it’s somewhere close to $60,000.” The CARES act additionally assisted repay the $500,000 crisis funding that has been given to food banks and homeless shelters in March, based on Kari Moore, the public information specialist for Pierce County. “There’s maybe some 70 food banks across the county. It sounds like a lot of money up front, but once you do all the math, the money that trickles down to your local food pantry is significantly reduced,” Potter stated. For Nourish Pierce County, Potter explained it has cost greater than $35,000 to run a month. Therefore a gift of $60,000 only lasts two weeks. Usually, that the Pierce County Human Services Community Development Block Grant public agencies bucks finance a broad array of activities, such as some food banks, based on Moore. The dollar amount is dependent upon how the Citizens’ Advisory Board makes its funding recommendations, Moore explained. Potter stated the cash from the CARES action was primarily utilized to buy food and security gear. “Five gallon buckets of hand sanitizer, that cost me $5,000,” Potter stated. “I don’t budget for this, and I don’t budget for boxes that we will need to package food and grocery bags which we’re now having to buy so that we could do this drive-thru support simpler. Thus [CARES] financing has completely helped us.” Potter and Beaudoin understand the financing in the government will gradually end. Consequently, they’ve been happy to see that the continuing support from the general public. The Puyallup Food Bank has witnessed a rise of over 550 brand new donors at the previous 3 months. “We’ve gotten nothing but encouragement from folks. I can’t tell you how wonderful that is that people come and they’re grateful that we’re here to help them. We want to continue doing that,” said Beaudoin.