Mid-South Food Bank assembling food boxes in event of COVID-19 quarantine

Mid-South Food Bank assembling food boxes in event of COVID-19 quarantine
Stock photo of sweet potatoes. (Doreen Michelle Abalos / EyeEm / Getty Images)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Mid-South Food Bank is assembling boxes of nonperishable food items in the event of an isolation or quarantine situation due to COVID-19 (coronavirus).

The agency is preparing 14-day food boxes that will be available to low-income and vulnerable people in the Mid-South.

The agency’s actions are in response to confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Mid-South, according to a press release.

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“We are treating this situation by being prepared to help those in need to have food so they can stay safe at home,” said Cathy Pope, Food Bank president & CEO “The population we serve typically does not have the resources to keep large reserves of food on hand in the event of school or work closures or other service disruptions.”

The food boxes will be available only through the food bank’s network of partner agencies West Tennessee, North Mississippi and Crittenden County, Arkansas.

The food bank is asking for food and monetary donations for the project, as well as volunteers to help pack the boxes.

Each box will contain about 35 pounds of nonperishable canned and packaged food. The boxes are not yet being requested, but Pope said the Food Bank wants to be ready in the event there is a need due to COVID-19 cases in the area.

“We’ve seen a ‘containment zone’ declared in New York so we know isolation and quarantine are strategies we could see here if the virus moves into our area in greater numbers," Pope said. “We want to be ready.”

There will be special food boxes for seniors with no-sodium vegetables and no-sugar fruit.

The food bank has increased the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting, especially in its volunteer and food storage areas.

To make an online donation, go to www.midsouthfoodbank.org/donate and choose Coronavirus Response in the drop-down box. To sign up for a volunteer shift, go to www.midsouthfoodbank.org/volunteer.