To Our Food for Health Family,
Our dedication as an organization is first and foremost to promote a nutrition focused community and we have and always will prioritize the health and safety of our clients, volunteers and team members.
Over the last few weeks we have been actively monitoring the spread of COVID-19 in the United States, Illinois and the Fox Valley area. As you may know, we have always taken sanitation & food safety extremely seriously within our program. This includes:
– Requiring all volunteers to wash their hands when they enter the kitchen, change tasks, or remove their gloves.
– Requiring all culinary volunteers to wear one use gloves.
– Requiring any individual who is not feeling well to not come to the kitchen and wait until they are symptom free for 48 hours.
– Sanitizing all surfaces used in our program before every shift, as well as returning delivery bags.
With COVID-19 being classified as a global pandemic and having confirmed cases within Kane County, it is critically important that we take extra measures to limit the spread and safeguard YOUR health and wellbeing. Food for Health has an increased obligation to take these matters seriously with the nature of our program to educate teens and serve those with a health crisis. In this effort, we will be implementing the following procedures:
1. Any volunteer or team member that has any cold or flu symptoms, specifically fever, cough or shortness of breath, will be asked not to enter our kitchen for a 2-week period of the onset of the symptoms.
2. Any volunteer or team member that has traveled via airline or that has returned from a cruise will be asked not to enter our kitchen for a 2-week period on return home.
3. Only essential staff & volunteers will report to our kitchen
4. We will be implementing a ‘social distancing’ policy, where there will be no physical contact between individuals, including handshakes, high fives, hugs etc. We will also make our best effort to distance all volunteers throughout our kitchen.
5. All cooler bags used for delivery will be prepacked when the Delivery Angel arrives, and All Delivery Angels will be asked to not enter clients’ homes, unless absolutely necessary. We will ask the bag be set outside the door, have the client take the cooler bag into their home, unload the Snapware containers in their fridge, and return the cooler bag and Snapware bag to the Delivery Angel.
These policies are aligned with our Ceres Affiliate Partners, and with the CDC & local health department guidelines. Since this situation will continue to develop, we will continue to actively monitor the situation and adapt our policies to ensure we can continue our program in a safe manner.
As we look ahead, we have plans in place to address programmatic concerns, including lack of volunteers due to illness or unable to volunteer, and shortages of produce or products. This may include reducing our weekly menu. At this point, we envision we will be able to continue to serve a full 6 meal menu, but this will be monitored on a weekly basis. We will do our best to supplement our clients with frozen soups & broth if necessary. Also, in an extreme situation, we have set up a closure procedure that will cover a minimum 2-week timeframe. We do NOT foresee this occurring but it may happen abruptly and want to ensure we are as transparent as possible.
Our team will always be available for questions or concerns. We know there is a large unknown of what may happen next, but we must support one another at this time by taking all precautions, especially with the sensitive nature of our program. Food for Health is committed to continue to support our community and will do so as long as it can be done in a safe and effective manner.
I thank you all for your continued support, trust and commitment to our clients & mission during this trying time. Together we can ensure we support our client families in a greater time of need.