Food banks and essential nonprofits lead the COVID response while understaffed

Across the United States, nonprofits are needed more than ever but they don’t have enough volunteers.

COVID-19 has wrecked the global economy. In the U.S., April unemployment numbers came out last week and 15+% of people are currently unemployed due to COVID-19. To put that in context, unemployment has hovered at just under 4% for the past year, meaning that about 4x more people than normal have filed for unemployment in the past month.

Considering that “40% of American households…don’t have enough savings to make ends meet at the poverty level for three months if their income was interrupted,” this is a pretty big frickin’ deal.

Prosperity Now

Layoffs and furloughs have not spared the Midwest, and need for food banks and other essential nonprofits has skyrocketed in the past month. MidOhio Food Collective affiliates alone have seen a 122% increase in the need for their services.

The need for food banks skyrocketed due to COVID-19.

But there’s a huge problem: nonprofits, especially food banks, typically rely heavily on an older, retired volunteer force. For obvious reasons, we need to keep all of our parents and grandparents safely tucked away right now, but that means the nonprofits who are currently keeping our communities afloat are facing a massive volunteer shortage.

As unemployment continues to grow, the need for food pantries and essential nonprofit services—and subsequently, volunteers—will remain critical.

POINT exists to bring people-power to nonprofits. Local food pantries and food-related nonprofits’ requests for volunteers on POINT in the past 2 months have quadrupled the requests for volunteers in the past 2 years. By downloading POINT for iOS or Android or inviting a nonprofit, you are playing a major role in helping our communities get through this.

But wait, can I even volunteer during COVID?

Fact check: Yes, you can. Nonprofits will be making sure there are 10 or fewer people volunteering at a time, but as long as you bring and wear a mask, and keep 6 ft. of space between you and other volunteers, you can go do more good in our cities.

Nonprofits need younger, lower-risk volunteers. Take our emergency volunteer quiz to find out if you qualify as lower-risk, and can safely volunteer. Then find and sign up for a volunteer slot on POINT by tapping “go” and showing up.

Even though we’re probably going to all be in this ‘Rona boat for a few more months, we can have #CourageOverCOVID and show up for the people who are keeping our communities running.

Please keep social distancing, but if you are healthy and able, take this as a chance to get out of the house and do more good in your city.

Photo Lindsey Schad
Lindsey Schad
Head of Communication Team

No guilt trips, no sad stories. Just a chance to do something good.