Redwood Empire Food Bank’s Response to Coronavirus

The Redwood Empire Food Bank’s operations are continuing as normal, with the exception of limiting warehouse volunteer shifts to a max of 10 people per shift. Circumstances are fluid, and we’ll be updating this page with the most recent information. We are monitoring the situation closely and taking necessary precautions to help make sure that staff, volunteers, food and product remain safe so our distributions can continue.

The Redwood Empire Food Bank is committed to the safety of our staff, volunteers and visitors. We are closely monitoring announcements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ensure that we are following their recommended guidelines. In addition, the Redwood Empire Food Bank is taking the following proactive and voluntary steps to help reduce contact and/or spread of Coronavirus:

  • Limiting volunteer shifts to a max of 10 people per shift.
  • Providing gloves to all volunteers handling food at our distribution sites
  • Extending distribution hours to avoid clustering
  • Spacing out our products at distributions to practice social distancing
  • Implementing drive-thru distributions when and where available
  • Boxing food for distributions to create easy grab-and-go procedures
  • Making hand sanitizers available throughout our sites
  • Increasing the visibility and importance of handwashing
  • Advising people to avoid touching their eyes, nose, mouth with unwashed hands
  • Advising those 65+, who are at higher risk, to stay home (click here for CDC precautions)
  • Advising people to avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Advising staff and volunteers to stay home if they display signs of illness or come into contact with affected individuals

Below, we have provided answers to questions regarding the Coronavirus pandemic.

1. Is the Redwood Empire Food Bank still open and continuing its daily operations?

Yes. The Redwood Empire Food Bank is fully operational. Since the situation is fluid, our distributions, hours and volunteer shifts are constantly changing.

To stay current on where and when to get food: please click here.

To stay current on volunteer opportunities: please click here.

 

2. Is the Redwood Empire Food Bank still accepting volunteers at the Santa Rosa warehouse?

Yes, but we are limiting warehouse volunteer shifts to a max of 10 people. Situations will arise where we’ll need volunteers on call. If you are willing to donate your time, please email volunteers@refb.org or sign up here.

We politely ask that if you are ill, or have been in contact with someone who is ill, please stay home. We also advise if you’re 65 years or older, to please stay home as the CDC categorizes those 65+ as high risk.

 

3. Is the Redwood Empire Food Bank closing any food distributions due to Coronavirus?

The situation is fluid, but when at all possible distributions will continue as scheduled. In the event that a public gathering is not permitted, we will do our best to offer drive-thru food distributions. We plan to adapt as necessary, just as we have for all disasters be they political, economical or natural. Some distribution sites have been canceled, while others have been opened. We have expanded hours at some sites to limit clustering, and we are spacing food to allow for social distancing. We are in contact with the California Department of Social Services. We have also been communicating with our 170+ partner organizations on CDC advice along with updates and guidance from Feeding America and National Council on Aging. 

We currently do not have a home delivery program. We encourage caregivers, family members and neighbors to pick-up for seniors who are homebound or unable to make the distribution.

 

4. Is Redwood Empire Food Bank hosting special Coronavirus food distributions for people in need?

Yes. We have over 250 food distribution points, and as of recent, we have activated Station 3990. This program is activated when there is a disaster. It’s important to understand that Station 3990 isn’t a tool or a location. Rather, Station 3990 is the response, activity, or approach. The activation designation helps us understand how a specific donation of food is going to be distributed, what message needs to be communicated to the public, and where a temporary food distribution outpost needs to be established.
Below is a list of temporary drive-thru food distribution outposts:
  • Tuesday, March 31, 2020 | 12:00 am – 1:30 am | Corazon Healdsburg – 1557 Healdsburg Ave #13, Healdsburg, CA 95448
  • Thursday, April 9, 2020 | 9:00 am – 10:30 am | Santa Rosa Junior College – 1501 Mendocino Ave, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
  • Friday, April 10, 2020 | 9:00 am – 10:00 am | Petaluma Fairgrounds – 175 Fairgrounds Dr, Petaluma, CA 94952

For a full list of food distribution sites throughout Sonoma County and surrounding counties, please click visit https://getfood.refb.org/.

 

5. What is the Redwood Empire Food Bank doing to reduce contact and/or the spread of Coronavirus?

The Redwood Empire Food Bank is committed to the safety of our staff, volunteers and visitors. We are closely monitoring announcements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ensure that we are following their recommended guidelines. The Redwood Empire Food Bank is taking the following proactive and voluntary steps to help reduce contact and/or spread of Coronavirus while visiting.

  • Limiting volunteer shifts to a max of 10 people per shift.
  • Providing gloves to all volunteers handling food at our distribution sites
  • Extending distribution hours to avoid clustering
  • Spacing out our products at distributions to practice social distancing
  • Implementing drive-thru distributions when and where available
  • Boxing food for distributions to create easy grab-and-go procedures
  • Making hand sanitizers available throughout our sites
  • Increasing the visibility and importance of handwashing
  • Advising people to avoid touching their eyes, nose, mouth with unwashed hands
  • Advising those 65 years or older, who are at higher risk, to stay home (click here for CDC precautions)
  • Advising people to avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Advising staff and volunteers to stay home if they display signs of illness or come into contact with affected individuals

For more information on Coronavirus, please visit the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website and the California Department of Public Health website.  Both websites are updated daily with the latest information and advice for the public.