Merrimack Valley Food Bank Response to COVID-19

The Food Bank’s operations are continuing as normal. The Food Bank is monitoring the situation closely and taking necessary precautions to help make sure that food and product remains safe and that our distributions and volunteer activities can continue.

The Food Bank is committed to the safety of our staff, volunteers and visitors. We are closely monitoring announcements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ensure that we are following their recommended guidelines. In addition, the Food Bank is taking the following proactive and voluntary steps to help reduce contact and/or spread of COVID-19:

  • Providing gloves to all volunteers handling food at our warehouses
  • Making hand sanitizers available throughout our warehouses
  • Increasing the visibility and importance of hand washing in the restrooms and throughout the facility
  • Advising people to avoid touching their eyes, nose, mouth with unwashed hands
  • Advising people to avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Advising staff and volunteers to stay home if they display signs of illness or come into contact with affected individuals

Below, we have provided answers to questions regarding COVID-19 (the Coronavirus).

1. Is the Food Bank still open and continuing its daily operations?

Yes, the Food Bank is still open and continuing our operations with limited access to our warehuse

2. Is the Food Bank still accepting volunteers in the warehouse?

Yes, the Food Bank is still accepting volunteers. The Food Bank relies heavily on individuals and volunteer groups to help us in our warehouse, at food distribution sites, and at Food Bank events. Training is not required, and there are no time commitments. You may volunteer one time, or on a regular basis.   Please note that there are age restrictions and due to the current circumstances we will be scrutinizing applications to ensure the safety of our staff, member agencies, and other volunteers. You can sign up to volunteer by visiting our website Volunteer Application 

3. Is the Food Bank hosting special COVID-19 food distributions for people in need?

 The Food Bank distributes food to more than 50,000 individuals a month in Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire. We do this in partnership with more than 120 nonprofit partners ranging from food pantries to soup kitchens. At this time, the Food Bank does not anticipate adding special distributions due to COVID-19. If you or someone you know is in need of food assistance, please visit  Feeding Programs for a list of available distributions throughout our community.

4. What is the Food Bank doing to reduce contact and/or the spread COVID-19?

The Food Bank is committed to the safety of our staff, volunteers and visitors. We are closely monitoring announcements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ensure that we are following their recommended guidelines. The Food Bank is taking the following proactive and voluntary steps to help reduce contact and/or spread of COVID-19 while visiting.

  • Providing gloves to all volunteers handling food at our warehouses
  • Making hand sanitizers available throughout our warehouses
  • Increasing the visibility and importance of hand washing in the restrooms and throughout the facility
  • Recommending people avoid touching their eyes, nose, mouth with unwashed hands
  • Recommending people avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Recommending staff, clients, volunteers and donors to stay away from work, school or other people if they become sick with respiratory symptoms such as fever and cough

For more information on COVID-19, please visit the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health website.  Both websites are updated daily with the latest information and advice for the public.