LOUISVILLE. KY. — There’s a new place where state employees are encouraged to go, during the time of working from home and social distancing. That’s to volunteer at food banks. Governor Andy Beshear summoned their help during one of his recent coronavirus briefings.
At least one Louisville-based bank, Dare to Care, says they welcome the help since their staff is slim and demand is great.
Dare to Care Food Bank Spokesman Stan Siegwald said pantries are seeing an average increase in demand of about 20%, and he expects that to rise as layoffs continue and unemployment lingers. He welcomes the unique type of government assistance, although state employee volunteers haven’t started yet.
“We have food banks that right now, don’t have the volunteers they need with the extra capacity, we as state employees want to help,” Siegwald says. “It’s critical. Our warehouse moves 24 million pounds of food with not a lot of people. It’s a very lean staff.”
Beshear cautions grocery shoppers not to panic buy, which Siegwald says is affecting the food bank’s supply; Dare to Care gets food from area grocery stores.
“When you go to a grocery store, buy for a week,” Beshear reminded people on Tuesday.
“A lot of people have been overshopping for lack of a better term, which is understandable…but what that has done is put a hit on food that otherwise would have been donated,” says Siegwald.
In his press conference on Tuesday night, the governor also mentioned that he’s asking for certain non-profits to accept fewer donations that have been handled by folks, but Dare to Care says they’ve not heard any directions from the administration on the subject that will impact them at this point.