Since March, six separate grant opportunities — including a significant gift from Jeff Bezos — have helped Foodlink respond to the public health crisis caused by the spread of the Coronavirus.
Feeding America allocated funds totaling more than $150,000 in three phases of relief grants. Other grants that were given to food banks within the network included a $40,000 grant from Target, and a $38,000 grant from Subaru.
The Jeff Bezos COVID-19 Relief grant was part of a $100 million gift to Feeding America and its 200 food banks in April. Foodlink received $464,200, which it used to purchase new equipment for its distribution center, and offset food, staffing and other costs directly related to our elevated response.
Feeding America’s latest report, The Impact of the Coronavirus on Local Food Insecurity Analysis, projected that food insecurity could rise by 45% in Foodlink’s 10-county service area — primarily due to the dramatic rise in unemployment. Foodlink is preparing for a prolonged response of at least 18 to 24 months as the Rochester area — like many areas of the country — attempts to recover from a significant economic recession. When household income decreases, the food budget is often the first expense sacrificed.
As a proud member of Feeding America, Foodlink is extremely thankful to the many supporters locally and across the country who have stepped up at this time. All funds raised from Feeding America are used to support the network of 200 food banks to help us meet the unprecedented need of the COVID-19 outbreak. We are grateful a portion of these funds was allocated to Foodlink to support our critical emergency response work.
During this crisis response, our food bank has incurred a huge burden of expenses in order to source additional food, supplies, transportation and increased operations. We know that the need will continue to increase as unemployment numbers continue to skyrocket across our communities and we are faced with the reality that this response will go on for months and the economic impact could go on for years, which why we continue to urgently call upon our local donors to support us during this difficult time.