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Should I distribute food to households within our program?

Should I distribute food to households within our program?

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Food security is a very real need for many families during a time of crisis, especially in lower income communities. As the pandemic has been catastrophic to the global economy, job loss in the Global South is adding to economic vulnerabilities and access to food may be the first gap that is exposed for at-risk communities. The leadership of your program should consider how the role of ensuring food security is handled.

Food insecurity and case management

  • If you are serving a community and providing case management services, talk about food security with each family. If your organization is not helping the family secure food for the household, who is attending to that need?
  • You likely will not need to provide food for every family you are working with, but the conversation must take place.
  • Hopefully, the household is secure with their food, but if they’re not, a clear action step for you might be to step in and help supply food.
  • Think Orphan released a video conference covering the complexities of food insecurity and what some practitioners are doing to address this issue. Find that podcast here.

Delivering food to families in need

  • While most of your caseload will take place remotely, there may be times that your staff will have to travel to deliver food to families in dire need.
  • Use a private vehicle with one social worker to maintain social distancing.
  • Staff should keep a two meter distance from other people when dropping off food and wear gloves and a protective face mask.
  • While these measures are not common in any culture, it is an opportunity for your social worker to provide education about COVID-19 and it’s highly contagious nature.

Community feeding programs

  • Many community based organizations already run feeding programs. This is an important service at this time as adequate nutrition is crucial for everyday life and even more so for those battling illness. 
  • Staff distributing food should be wearing protective gear including properly worn face masks and gloves that can be washed or thrown away after use.
  • Staff must ensure that beneficiaries that are waiting in the distribution line maintain a social distance of two meters from others.
  • Despite these precautions, it is important to be aware that program staff are still at risk of infection anytime that they engage other community members.