COVID-19 Impacts Food For Lane County

Mar 15, 2020

As closures continue throughout Oregon due to COVID-19 protocols, I spoke with Food For Lane County about how it’s preparing.

Food For Lane County is anticipating potential interruptions to both supply and distribution during closures meant to slow the spread of COVID-19. Tom Mulhern, Executive Director, also expects need for their service to increase because of people losing income to the same closures.
Credit Oregon Food Bank

Executive Director Tom Mulhern says the organization has made practical adjustments to limit contact. The Dining Room downtown is now take-out and Meals on Wheels deliveries are being left at the door.

“We have to protect our volunteers, but we also have to get the food out because people depend on this food and many people are going to depend on it even more.”

Mulhern says there is likely to be a greater demand as people lose income from the closures. Most people qualify for emergency assistance and are encouraged to access the resource.

“It’s like getting a three to five day supply of groceries. It’s not going to change their lives, but it’s going to help people make ends meet. And then they can come back. It’s not a one-time deal.”

He is also anticipating disruption in supply. The canceled Home Show alone is a loss of several thousand pounds of donated food.

Despite this, Mulhern is hopeful. He says Lane County residents are generous and he has already received calls from people wanting to help.

“Our commitment is to do the best we can and the most we can to get food to people in need. Because the people living on the edge - this is a real blow to them.”

Current pantry locations can be found at Food For Lane County’s website or by calling the main office at 541-343-2822.