ALAMEDA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — With some Bay Area residents out of work because of the coronavirus outbreak, food banks are busier than ever.

The Alameda County Community Food Bank says it is in dire need of volunteers to help pack emergency bags of food for people in need.

“With the spread of coronavirus, we are starting to see a surge in need,” Michael Altfest said.

The pre-packaged bags have about 15 pounds of food inside, and are available to the one in five county residents who already use the food bank’s services and for people who have recently found themselves struggling — who may be out of work or school because of the coronavirus outbreak. 

“We understand stigma to reaching out to a food bank is a real thing and we just want to make sure that our community know this is a very caring, loving place for anyone who needs food,” Altfest said.

The food bank is storing those emergency food bags in loads of boxes.

Volunteers have made about 2,000 of them so far and will be making quite a few more over the next few days and weeks.

But — they need your help!

The Alameda County Community Food Bank has seen a decrease in volunteers over the past week.

Volunteers wear gloves, and stand far apart from each other as they build the bags.

The food bank has also increased the amount of cleaning they do in the warehouse throughout the day and they are asking anyone who is healthy to volunteer.

michael altfest, alameda county community food bank

“Only thing we ask is that you don’t exhibit any symptoms of illness and haven’t been traveling to impacted areas the last 14 days,” Altfest said. “We’ll happily welcome you in here.” 

If you are in need of food or interested in volunteering, click here.

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