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Rise Against Hunger Statement Regarding COVID-19 Coronavirus

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By Rise Against Hunger on May 27, 2020

Rise Against Hunger is committed to the safety of both our volunteers and our beneficiaries. We are actively monitoring the COVID-19 coronavirus that is impacting countries across the world. Please read our FAQ below for more information around our organization’s response to the coronavirus.

What is the status of upcoming volunteer meal packaging events?
Rise Against Hunger is resuming meal packaging activities. We continue to monitor and adhere to the CDC’s guidelines and explore opportunities to package essential meals with our event hosts on a case-by-case basis. For any meal packaging events we facilitate at this time, we are executing them carefully to ensure the safety of our staff, volunteers and beneficiaries, and we are only facilitating events that adhere to the local and national guidelines. With a sense of urgency that global hunger is increasing due to this pandemic, we are also providing alternate immediate, critical relief solutions for those most in need.

How does Rise Against Hunger ensure the safety of its volunteers?
At our volunteer meal packaging events, we closely adhere to the CDC’s guidelines for large events and will continue to do so if these guidelines change. Best practices around handwashing, hygiene and avoiding events while sick are already guidelines we implement at all of our events, but we are encouraging volunteers to be especially mindful at this time. If a volunteer has had a fever, cough or sore throat, gastrointestinal illness or other cold or flu-like symptoms in the past 48 hours, they will be asked not to participate and wait for a future Rise Against Hunger Experience. Additionally, vulnerable populations are asked to not attend or participate in an event at this time.

At our events, volunteers and staff must maintain a continuous distance of six or more feet, and volunteers are required to wear a mask during their entire experience. Volunteer teams must also be fewer than nine people. If there are multiple teams packaging in one location, the maximum capacity must be 10 people per 1,000 sq. feet. Room entry points and equipment are also carefully sanitized for every event and between shifts.

Are Rise Against Hunger meals still safe to distribute?
The Center for Disease Control, the US Food and Drug Administration and World Health Organization have stated that the disease is unlikely to be transmitted via food. In addition to our meals, coronaviruses have poor survivability on surfaces, and the CDC says the potential for the virus to spread via food products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient, refrigerated, or frozen temperatures, like our boxes or meal bags, is “very low.”

Has the COVID-19 outbreak impacted how meals are being shipped?
Yes. Meals that normally shipped through China are on hold or being rerouted.

How are your international locations responding?
Each of our international locations are complying with local government restrictions regarding travel, gatherings and hours of business operation. As such, our Italy, Malaysia and South Africa locations are unable to facilitate events at this time, but are closely monitoring the situation to resume event facilitation when possible.

How can partners support our work during this time of uncertainty in the global community?
820 million people are still facing hunger every day, and there are ways you can help! Please consider making a donation to help us continue to support our beneficiaries globally.