COVID-19 PARTNER AGENCY RESOURCES

We are grateful to our Agency Partners who are working hard to address needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. MANNA FoodBank is leveraging every resource to get foods into the hands of our 221 Partner Agencies at this time.

We ask you remain in constant contact with our team regarding any changes to your operations. Including:

1. Have you changed your distribution dates or hours of distribution?
2. Will you be shifting to a different style of food distribution? (Example: Drive through
or pre-boxed food)
3. Do you need volunteers from the community?

MANNA Zone Coordinator Information:
Amy Sims, Western Zone Outreach Coordinator – 828-399-1147,
asims@mannafoodbank.org
Kaitlyn Smith, Eastern Zone Outreach Coordinator – 434-806-9965,
ksmith@mannafoodbank.org
Leah Cormier, Buncombe County Outreach Coordinator– 828-774-5915,
lcormier@mannafoodbank.org
Chris Rainwater, Agency Relations Coordinator – 828-299-3663 x1272,
crainwater@mannafoodbank.org

*If you are unsure who your Zone Coordinator is, please reach out to Chris Rainwater.


Agency Partner Operating Hours

MANNA FoodBank is tracking daily changes to Agency Partner operations, please refer here for the most up-to-date information on the linked PDF spreadsheet below.

(Updated as of 3.31.20 at 3:00 PM EST)

If your agency has changed hours or is closing, please reach out to the Agency Relations Team.


MANNA Operations Updates

As of now, all deliveries will remain as scheduled. We are unable to accommodate additional deliveries outside an agency’s standard delivery date and time.

We will be shifting all agency shopping from the sales floor to our online ordering system starting on March 23rd, 2020. This means that starting on March 23rd you will be able to pick up orders placed online that you normally would have shopped for in person. The produce and bread items you normally pick up on the sales floor will be available via the online ordering system.

Online orders will be available for pick up on your usual assigned day and time at our distribution warehouse. This is the building in the same lot, right beside your usual pick up location, at 623 Swannanoa River Road.

When arriving check in with staff just inside the door of the distribution warehouse and then wait in your vehicle for your order to be brought to your vehicle by MANNA staff.

Your bread, produce, and perishables will then be pick up in your usual location. Let MANNA staff know that you have arrived in the waiting room and then return to your vehicle to wait for MANNA staff to bring your order out to your vehicle.

If our online ordering system is new to you or if you need a refresher please reference this video guide that we have created to assist you. If you need further assistance with our ordering system or with your user name and password please reach out to Chris Rainwater, our Agency Relations Coordinator, with the above contact information and he will be happy to assist you with any issues you may be having.

View the online ordering tutorial here.

As always, if you have questions or concerns regarding this change or any other changes please contact us.


MANNA FoodBank & Feeding America Food Distribution Best Practices

1) Sanitation:
• Be vigilant about sanitizing surfacing and hand washing.
• Ensure that volunteers and staff with symptoms stay home.
• Increase the intensity and frequency of your cleaning schedule and use disinfectants on surfaces including door handles, railings, and counters. The use of a bleach solution has been shown to be effective against COVID-19 pathogens.

2) Stay open for food distribution if possible, moving to the following models where you can:
• Host “drive-through” mobile pantries where clients drive a vehicle through a distribution line. Consult local law enforcement to ensure proper traffic control is available.
• Shift to “to-go meals” for meal sites
• Schedule appointments to limit the number of people congregating at a pantry site at one time. This may require cell phone numbers or emails information from clients. The following free tools are not customized for operations – however, they may prove helpful:
• Calendly.com – Free scheduling site
• Remind.com – Free text or email system for teachers. Set up a “classroom” per time slot or per distribution.
• Suspend operations from client choice to food box distribution

3) Relax TEFAP and other intake paperwork to limit person-to-person interaction.


RESOURCES:

CDC COVID-19 Guidelines & Updates

CDC Bleach Cleaning Solution Guidelines


Stay Up to Date

03-12-2020 Agency Partner Email – Addressing COVID-19
03-16-2020 Agency Partner Email – Online Ordering Shift
03-18-2020 Agency Partner Email – COVID-19 Contact-free Distribution Practices
03-20-2020 Agency Partner Email – Funding Opportunities for Emergency Resources
03-23-20 Agency Partner Email – Operations Updates, Ordering and Delivery Changes and Answers
03-25-20 Agency Partner Email – CEO Message to Partner Agencies
03-31-20 Agency Partner Email – COVID-19 Operations Update

COVID-19 Contact-free Distribution Practices 
Funding Opportunities for Emergency Resources

For additional updates, please sign up for this email list: COVID-19 Daily Updates from MANNA

Join our Partner Agency text alert system to receive communications right to your smart phone: Text APPLE to (828)348-5883


Agency Partner FAQs

What MANNA’s recommendations on safe food distribution? 

  • Stay open for food distribution if possible, with adjustments to your distribution model.
  • Suspend client choice shopping at markets and distribute pre-packed boxes of shelf-stable items.
  • Limit person to person contact during your distribution by hosting a “drive-through” where residents drive a vehicle through a distribution line. If you believe your site would not work for a drive through distribution, please consider moving the distribution to another community site that could accommodate traffic flow. Please contact your Zone Coordinator if you would like to explore this option further.
  • Thoroughly clean and sanitize all surfaces before, during, and after your distribution. If available, please provide sanitizer, Clorox wipes, face masks, and signage at all distributions (attached is a sample copy of signage that we have been using at entry points around MANNA with a customized fill in option).
  • Consider adding an additional distribution as a precautionary measure in advance of a possible quarantine or outbreak. Please contact MANNA regarding this.
  • Consider shifting to “to-go meals” for meal sites.
  • Schedule appointments to limit the number of people congregating at a pantry site at one time. This may require cell phone or email information. The following free tools are not customized for operations – however, they may prove helpful:
    • Calendly.com – Free scheduling site
    • remind.com – Free text or email system for teachers. Set up a “classroom” per time slot or per distribution.
  • Relax TEFAP and other intake paperwork to limit person-to-person interaction or shift to completing intake over the phone

Can we still operate if there is a stay-at-home ordinance in place? What about our volunteers? What about our clients?

  • As a disaster relief and response organizations, MANNA FoodBank and all of our Partner Agencies are considered essential services, and thus able to continue operations during a “stay home, stay safe” order. All staff and volunteers are excluded from the “stay home, stay safe” order while providing services with your food pantry or meal site. Under the declaration all residents are permitted to still continue essential activities, obtaining necessary supplies and services are included under essential activities. There are no restrictions currently in place that would prevent your clients from visiting your food bank or meal site.Here is a link to a template letter your agency may consider utilizing should you be stopped during such an ordinance.

What should I do if I feel sick, or volunteers at my site feel sick?

Continue to follow the CDC Guidelines. The NC Dept of Health and Human Services just released a one-page guide that presents these recommendations in a simple, easy to use format.

COVID-19 Patient Guidance-3.23.20

Will there be any change to deliveries? Can we shop/order more often?  

Starting on Monday, March 23, MANNA will be shifting all agency shopping from the sales floor to our online ordering system. The daily bread and produce shopping from 12pm-2pm will no longer be available, but these products will be available through our online ordering system.

  • An email was sent to shopping floor agencies detailing these changes on Monday, March 16th, which can be viewed by clicking here.
  • Orders need to be placed 5 days in advance of pick up or delivery. If you are an agency that usually shops on the sales floor, your pick up time will remain the same, even though orders must be placed online in advance.
  • We are unable to accommodate orders outside of your regularly scheduled times. When you are placing your online orders please select your usual assigned day and time. If you are an agency that usually shops on the sales floor to supplement your online orders those perishable items need to be included on your order placed 5 days in advance of your pick up or delivery day.
  • We are usually try to accommodate phone calls requesting to add product to existing online orders but we no longer have the capacity to add to online orders at this time. Please ensure that your order is complete as you submit those 5 days in advance of your pick up or delivery.

What about our retail donation pick-ups? How will this change? What if we can’t go?  

  • There are currently no changes to our retail pick-up program. If there are changes, we will communicate those out to each agency affected.
  • If you are unable to pick up from a retailer, please inform Bobbie Phillips, MANNA Food Sourcing Coordinator, as soon as possible. Bobbie can be contacted at bphillips(at)mannafoodbank.org.

Can we still pick up food at MANNA? 

Agencies are still able to pick up orders from MANNA.

  • We will be shifting all agency shopping from the sales floor to our online ordering system starting Monday, March 23rd, 2020. This means that starting on March 23rd you will be able to pick up orders placed online that you normally would have shopped for in person. The produce and bread items you normally pick up on the sales floor will be available via the online ordering system.
  • Online orders will be available for pick up on your usual assigned day and time at our distribution warehouse. This is the building in the same lot, right beside your usual pick up location, at 623 Swannanoa River Road.
  • When arriving check in with staff just inside the door of the distribution warehouse and then wait in your vehicle for your order to be brought to your vehicle by MANNA staff.
  • Your bread, produce, and perishables will then be picked up in your usual location. Let MANNA staff know that you have arrived in the waiting room and then return to your vehicle to wait for MANNA staff to bring your order out to your vehicle.

Can we order more food? Can we order less than every 5 days?

We encourage you to order extra food if you have the ability to distribute more food in your area. We’re updating our online shopping system as we have new or updated totals on items.

  • Orders still need to be placed 5 days in advance of pick up or delivery. If you are an agency that usually shops on the sales floor your pick up time will remain the same, even though orders must be placed online in advance.
  • If you have a concern or immediate need please contact your Zone Coordinator to see how we can work with you to find a solution.
  • Please continually check our online inventory as it will be updated and changing often.
  • We are unable to accommodate orders outside of your regularly scheduled times. When you are placing your online orders please select your usual assigned day and time. If you are an agency that usually shops on the sales floor to supplement your online orders those perishable items need to be included on your order placed 5 days in advance of your pick up or delivery day.
  • We usually try to accommodate phone calls requesting to add product to your existing online orders, but we no longer have the capacity to add to online orders at this time. Please ensure that your order is complete as you submit those 5 days in advance of your pick up or delivery.

TEFAP Agency: Can I relax or simplify my TEFAP paperwork to assist with my low or no contact distributions?

The NCDA has shared a revised version of the traditional TEFAP paperwork that you can use at your discretion. You may continue to use the traditional paperwork you’re used to if that’s easiest for your agency.

COVID-19 TEFAP-3- Generic Application_Mobile Distributions (Word doc)
COVID-19 TEFAP-3- Generic Application_Mobile Distributions (PDF)

If you have any specific questions regarding TEFAP rules and regulations please contact:

Amy Sims, Western Zone Outreach Coordinator – 828-399-1147, asims@mannafoodbank.org

TEFAP Agency: If we close how do we deal with TEFAP product?

  • If your agency is closing, changing hours, or distribution model please reach out to MANNA so we can continue to provide accurate information about resources to the general public.
  • If your agency closes, we will pause all deliveries to your agency until we are contacted and informed otherwise.
  • TEFAP product that is not distributed will just be reported in your monthly inventory as still on hand.
  • If you are unable to accept perishable TFAP items please contact us as soon as possible so we can try to accommodate. We do encourage you to include perishable items in boxes distributed just as you usually would where possible.

Can we get more masks and pandemic supplies from MANNA?

  • We’re currently focusing our available budget dollars on sourcing pre-boxed food or food that can be easily boxed for distribution. Masks and sanitation supplies are exceedingly expensive at the moment and those dollars go much further towards food we can distribute to the community. If those supplies become available to us we will reach out to partner agencies as soon as those resources would come available.
  • We encourage you to use a bleach solution of 1/3 cup bleach per 1 gallon of water OR 2 tablespoons bleach per 1-quart water. This will give you a 1000+ ppm disinfecting solution. After cleaning the area with detergent, spray or wipe with surfaces with the disinfectant. Make sure to allow surfaces to fully air dry.

Will MANNA have emergency food boxes available?

MANNA is working to source emergency food boxes but those boxes do take time to be made and then shipped to us. As we have emergency boxes become available, we will communicate that out to partner agencies and try to target those emergency food boxes to make the biggest impact within Western North Carolina.

Can MANNA Express and MCM be pre-boxed/bagged?

We do not currently have the materials, resources, or man power to pre-box or bag the food for MANNA Express or MANNA Community Markets. MANNA Express and MANNA Community Markets will be shifting to a drive thru distribution model with arrival times adjusted to account for time for sites to pre-box food prior to distribution. MANNA Express and MANNA Community Markets will be following CDC and Feeding America recommendations for safety in group settings and food distributions.

How will MANNA’s supply chain be affected? Will we still be able to get a good variety?

MANNA is leveraging all resources available to us in sourcing food to distribute in Western North Carolina. We are continually in contact with Feeding America, Feeding the Carolinas, our local partners, and donors in the community to ensure that we have the best inventory possible.

Can the ordering system be eased up to allow us to order more frequently/sooner? (Reducing the 5-day order window)

  • Orders need to be placed 5 days in advance of pick up or delivery. If you are an agency that usually shops on the sales floor your pick up time will remain the same, even though orders must be placed online in advance.
  • We understand the increased need within partner agencies for additional food and resources but MANNA’s Operations team needs orders 5 days in advance to have time to work through orders and have them ready for pick up and/or delivery. The increase in orders also increases the work of our Operations team while continuing to stick to that existing 5-day window.
  • If MANNA makes any changes to the order timeline, we will be sure to communicate that change to partner agencies immediately.
  • If you are attempting to place an order outside of your designated times OR if you are a mobile agency trying to schedule for pickup please contact Glenda Gragg prior to placing your order to ensure scheduling is possible. You can reach Glenda at: (828)299-3663, ext 1227

Can we get weekly deliveries? Can we order and pick up at MANNA on the weeks we don’t receive mobile delivery?

  • Currently, all delivery and pickup times will remain as scheduled.
  • Please contact your Zone Coordinator if you have an immediate need outside of your regularly scheduled times.

How can we get bags and boxes to aid our new distribution method?

The limited boxes MANNA has on site are being prioritized to be used by our volunteer center to pack food as quickly as we can to distribute out to partner agencies across Western North Carolina.

Can agencies who don’t normally receive MANNA Packs come get some or can existing agencies get more?

As we continue to assess the priorities and needs of our community on a daily basis, MANNA’s focus will also shift. As of today, MANNA is now shifting all operations to focus exclusively on shelf stable family food boxes and regular order fulfillment through our partner agency network. We are continuing to reach out for information from the school systems across our 16 counties for information about their efforts, so that we can coordinate our efforts effectively and efficiently. All MANNA Pack for Kids sites will be informed about resources in their county where they can send families until backpack deliveries resume when schools reopen.

Can we cancel our order?

Orders cannot be cancelled within 3 days of delivery or pick up. If there are 4 days or more until your delivery or pick up you may cancel. If you cancel your order within 3 days of delivery or pick up you will still be charged for your order amount.

Will there be changes to produce availability with the change to online ordering?

We will be adding all available produce you would usually shop for on the sales floor to our online ordering system. Due to such a high demand for produce we may not be able to accommodate the entire requested amount of pounds for a particular produce item. When this occurs we will replace the difference with another produce item.

Will the quality of the produce that we order change with the changes to ordering?

“There may be a change in quality requiring agencies to cull produce more than usual. MANNA has seen a reduction in volunteers just as many of our partner agencies have. This change in MANNA’s volunteer capacity and our refocusing of volunteer projects towards emergency food leaves less time for our volunteers to cull the produce that we receive. However, we are making every effort to maintain the quality of food you are used to receiving from MANNA.”

How do we speak about safety with older/at-risk volunteer base? 

Our highest priority is the safety of our staff and volunteers, you, our community partners, and the community we serve. We encourage you to have candid conversations with your volunteer base about potential risk to at-risk populations. While we are all in need of volunteers during this increased time of need the safety and comfort of volunteers should come first. We encourage you to offer safety equipment to volunteers if you have them available. Sanitation is priority right now. Some partner agencies have required all staff and volunteers to wear gloves and have masks on-hand if staff and volunteers feel comfortable wearing them. If any volunteer has symptoms please request that they stay home. With restaurant industry staff laid off and colleges on extended break there is an opportunity to recruit volunteers in lower risk categories. If you have a volunteer need please reach out to MANNA and we’re attempting to match volunteers with agencies where possible.

Many of you have reached out for more guidance for communicating with these older/at-risk volunteers. Below we have an example of communication that MANNA has shared with our volunteer base. Feel free to use this as template or in whole.

Please read this entire message to learn more about our current requirements and recommendations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thank you so much for your dedicated support to our community in this time of heightened need. We are so grateful for your service.

We are asking that only people who are considered at low risk for serious illness from COVID-19 volunteer at this time. Please reference CDC Recommendations. If you are at high risk please cancel your registration and stay safe.  If you would like to learn about other ways you can help please visit our COVID-19 Response page.

We are doing our best to keep our facilities clean and safe. We have gloves and masks on hand and are requiring that everyone washes their hands upon entering our facilities.

If you are experiencing or develop any form of respiratory illness or have a fever please cancel your volunteer shift and stay home. You may be asked to take your temperature before entering our facilities.

We can’t express how much we appreciate your support right now. We will get through this together.

Thank you!”

What should I do about safety and security at my site?

In these dynamic times, we need to keep safety in mind in addition to social distancing measures. Many people in our community are experiencing high levels of stress and/or anxiety around food insecurity or the health of loved ones. Unfortunately, crisis can bring out the best and worst in people. It’s imperative that you are proactive and create a safety plan considering crowd management and traffic flow.

Develop A Plan: Develop a plan in advance for crowd management and safe traffic flow. We have created a list of local emergency contacts by county and can share with you. Simply reach out to your zone coordinator if you would like that information.

  • We recommend reaching out to local law enforcement or emergency services for advice and/or day-of distribution support.
  • Avoid starting your distribution early and stick to the advertised times as best you can.
  • Share critical information about how the distribution works in your advertising. This can include a request for folks to not arrive early, to avoid congestion and waiting before the distribution.

For more information view this guide on preparing a safe crowd management plan.

Can we get info in Spanish?

  • We have translated an entrance sign detailing hygiene precautions into Spanish. You can download the English and Spanish version of this sign below.

COVID-19 Building Safety Precautions Entrance Sign:

If you have need for specific translated signage please reach out to your Zone Coordinator and we will see if we can work towards those additional resources.