M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

Every year, the Murdock Trust seeks to provide a sampling of some of the groups we partner with throughout the year and their collective impact on the common good through a storytelling project. For this year’s annual video project, we are taking a look at four different service sectors, some of the groups we are inspired by and how they have stepped up to help serve and support those in need during these historic times. You can see our first video in this series on the impact of Community Foundations here.

The arrival of COVID-19 in our communities presented a series of critical challenges that required immediate attention. The virus’ arrival set off a rapidly developing chain of issues, causing one community need to topple forward into the next like a series of dominos.

One of the clearest examples of this domino effect can be found in food insecurity and hunger prevention. While the initial response very much needed to be on mitigating the potential health and safety ramifications of the virus, the resulting economic shut down triggered three very real factors that dramatically impacted the work of our local food banks:

  • With businesses shut down and unemployment up dramatically, food insecurity also increased. This significantly drove demand for help from food banks and pantries across the Pacific Northwest.
  • Facing economic uncertainty, donations to nonprofits, including food banks, decreased almost overnight leaving facilities with heavily restricted resources.
  • Like most businesses, food banks had to rapidly adapt their staffing and distribution models to keep their teams safe as well as those they serve when collecting and distributing food.

Ensuring individuals and families have access to nutritious food is among the most vital priorities of any community. Under normal circumstances, the work of our community food banks is life-changing. Their efforts to continue serving those most in need during this historic moment is nothing short of heroic.

In part two of our annual video project, we have the opportunity to meet with a handful of the food banks serving our region and learn more about how they rapidly adapted to serve the unprecedented needs of communities across the Pacific Northwest. Their energy, spirit, and dedication to serving the common good leaves us inspired and in awe.

Our thanks to Food Bank of Alaska and Oregon Food Bank for their participation in this video and to all the food banks across the Pacific Northwest that work day-in and day-out to help ensure that every individual and family has an opportunity to flourish and thrive.

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