To Our Neighbors and Friends in the Texas Panhandle:
We would like to take this opportunity to let you know what the High Plains Food Bank (HPFB) is doing to help prepare for Coronavirus (COVID-19). We are continuing to monitor the developments as they arise and what that means for the people we serve across 29 counties spanning the Texas Panhandle. We receive consistent updates through Feeding America (our national food bank network), Feeding Texas, Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and the City of Amarillo. We meet with all of these entities multiple times a week for updates. Most importantly, we are gearing our preparation around the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) recommendation to help ensure the continued safety of our staff, volunteers and individuals/families that we serve.
We are maintaining industry best practices surrounding cleaning and sanitation in our facilities and food safety. These items are a part of our culture here at HPFB, and we are re-emphasizing the ways in which we can assist and do so in a safe manner. As with you, we understand the need for concern following this illness. We intend to follow the facts being presented and the guidance given. We ask that you help partner with us and concentrate on the facts and preventative measures.
Even as this situation unfolds, food insecurity still persists on the High Plains. While things could change at any moment, volunteer opportunities are still open. We will be looking to keep our volunteer groups between 35-50 individuals at a time in our warehouse – to adhere to current recommendations and guidelines. We will provide updates as anything changes. We are asking volunteers and staff who have experienced any symptoms of illness or have traveled to high-risk areas to stay home and get a speedy recovery.
The economic impact of COVID-19 is also a growing concern for us and our community. It is likely that this year will see an increased need. With your support and our communities’ incredible willingness to help our neighbors, we know we will able to rise to these challenges. On behalf of our Board of Directors and staff here at HPFB—and the neighbors we serve, we would like to say a sincere thank you.