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Blood and Food Banks in the USA: How You Can Help the Needy

As the coronavirus spreads across the United States, people are increasingly focusing on supporting and protecting their families. However, there is no one to worry about many US residents, and then charitable organizations are connected. During the crisis, the demand for their services has increased, and donations have decreased. Therefore, if you are ready to help, it will be very helpful. How to do this, told the publication CNN.

Photo: Shutterstock

There is a serious need for blood

On April 3, the American Red Cross announced that about 18 blood donors had canceled their appointments due to coronavirus problems.

“In my entire life, I haven’t been as concerned about what might happen to the blood supply as I am now, simply because of the extent to which the coronavirus is affecting public decisions,” said Chris Hruda, president of the Red Cross biomedical department.

Khruda said it is important that people donate now while part of the country is still healthy. About 80% of the Red Cross blood collection comes from blood collection organizations based in churches, schools and businesses.

Blood stocks should be constantly replenished, because blood is a perishable substance. According to him, when blood donation is canceled, it threatens stocks. A red blood cell unit can be stored for 42 days, while platelets have a shelf life of only five days.

Areas of the United States badly affected by the coronavirus, such as the country's northwest, are in an extremely serious situation. The statement says the region's blood supply is "under threat of collapse."

How can you help: blood donors are needed. All types of blood are needed, but the first group and platelets are what the Red Cross banks need most now. You can find blood donation points near you through the American Red Cross here or American blood donation centers here.

The shelves in some food banks are empty

“Unfortunately, people seem to be stockpiling canned food at home,” said Keith Lombardo of Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County in Connecticut.

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“But there is a population group that is not able to provide themselves with food in case of quarantine. Most people don't have the extra $ 100-200 to spend on food to stock up on food for two weeks, ”says Lombardo.

Pasta, spaghetti sauce and cereal, as a rule, were always abundant in food bank stocks, but now, according to her, even these products have disappeared. The food bank was supposed to use financial donations to buy food to replenish supplies.

“This is a scary factor for people who live paycheck to paycheck and can barely make ends meet,” Lombardo said. "There is already a stressor of poverty, not to mention the added stress caused by the pandemic."

This Connecticut food bank provides products to 90 departments and programs that prepare or deliver food to those in need.

How can you help: different food banks and kitchens have different needs. Lower Fairfield County Food Bank asks for donations of canned food, while Chips stated that he needed disposable containers and utensils after the organization had to switch from feeding those in need on the spot to a food delivery and delivery system. To find a food bank in your area, enter your zip code or state in the national directory Feeding america, and you will see a list of nearby organizations.

Homeless Shelters and Their Quarantine Problems

It is still unknown about cases of coronavirus among the homeless, but there are fears that it will affect this already vulnerable population.

According to Gisele Rotier, director of politics for the Homeless Coalition in New York, advice on handwashing and quarantine self-isolation is not feasible for homeless people.

The Los Angeles Shelter has taken aggressive measures to ensure the safety of the homeless. They placed bunk beds six feet (1,8 m) apart and set up a hard quarantine zone for anyone with symptoms.

“We have created a family quarantine in the family wing, two families are showing symptoms of respiratory disease, but since we are not able to carry out tests, and the hospitals of these people have not been tested, we can not yet confirm any diagnoses,” said the general director of the shelter Andy Bales ...

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The shelter added several points where people can wash their hands with warm water and observe good hygiene. Door handles and elevator buttons are disinfected 9 times a day.

How can you help: Homeless shelters such as the Union Rescue Mission are asking people to share basic necessities - toilet paper, soap, hand sanitizers and sanitizing wipes. Masks, gloves and protective equipment are also welcome, as shelter staff must be able to protect themselves when serving those in need.

You can call 311 to contact a homeless shelter in your city; call the number 211to contact local social services. Veteran Administration It also supports a 877-hour hotline for homeless veterans at 4-877AID-VET (424-3838-XNUMX) and online chat.

Quarantined older people need food

While the public is worried about working from home and isolation, a huge part of the population is left without food.

Older people with mobility problems find it difficult to buy or prepare food. Programs "Power on Wheels»Provide hot meals daily to older people and those at home.

“Hot food is important for nutrition, but it’s also a chance for an older person not to feel isolated,” said Steve King from Meals on Wheels of Tampa. “We prepare frozen meals, and if we have too little food, and we cannot provide someone with hot food, we give them frozen food seven days in advance,” King said.

Food on Wheels said their programs were adapting to quarantine requirements.

“Delivery methods are being adjusted to reduce the risk of human contact,” said Jenny Young, spokeswoman for Meals on Wheels America. "Volunteers can now stay away from home and deliver more shelf-stable or frozen meals at a time to reduce the frequency of deliveries."

How can you help: support the neighbors. If you go to the grocery store, offer to buy everything they need. Or ask if an elderly neighbor needs a trip to the store or pharmacy. To donate Meals on Wheels Americaclick here. You can also register to become their volunteer. If you need food, enter your zip codeto find help in your area.

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