Many people in the Seattle area follow health officials’ advice to stay home.
The increasing absence has an impact on the local food banks. As a precautionary measure, some food banks saw volunteers cancel.
Like many nonprofits, food banks rely on volunteers. At Ballard Food Bank, many of them are senior citizens.
“Many of them volunteer for us weekly,” said Executive Director Jen Muzia. “They are definitely concerned for their health and wellbeing, and we are for them too.”
In the meantime, employees are taking steps to protect customers who are also at risk by washing hands and disinfecting surfaces.
Muzia says given the recent rush into supermarkets, food and restoration donations have declined.
Other food banks like Food Lifeline and the University District Food Bank have also seen voluntary rejections. So far this has generally not affected their business operations. However, if necessary, they will prepare bags for customers when the situation changes.