COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri doesn't see providing food for those who need it as an issue at this time.
The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri provides food for more than 32 counties in the state, covering roughly a third of Missouri.
The Central Pantry on Big Bear Boulevard in Columbia serves more than 10,000 people per month alone, but the food bank itself has access to food from growers and manufacturers and retailers locally, regionally and across the country.
One thing this food bank wants people to understand is that it doesn't operate like grocery stores.
“In terms of food supply, we don’t operate as grocery stores do," said Lindsay Lopez, food bank executive director. "We don’t have the ability to just replace our inventory or place a new order for inventory as we need it. Food banks operate differently."
The food bank’s supply chains are working a bit differently right now, but the organization says it will continue to have access to food.
"Things may look a little different than they have in the past," Lopez said. "We are absolutely committed to doing everything we can to ensure that the people we serve continue to have access to food and we believe that that’s not going to be an issue.”
The food bank may change the way it acquires and distributes food because of ripples in the supply chain.
“We anticipate that we will still have food coming in," Lopez said. "It may not be coming in the same regulatory as it has in the past so there are a number of factors that may be out of our control so we ask for everyone’s patience as we navigate through that.”
Rationing food supply is not something the food bank is concerned about right now.
“The work that food banks do is essential and we are committed to doing everything that we can to serve people in need during this unprecedented time,” Lopez said.
The food bank is following CDC social distancing guidelines, which has limited the number of volunteers. It has also caused the cancellation of fundraisers that the food bank relies on to help sustain its operation.
Stay up to date on this developing story here and on ABC 17 News at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.