Many people have suffered food insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A Golden Valley nonprofit has noticed the need too. Officials with PRISM say they have recently seen a 50 percent increase in the number of people using their food shelf.
“Pre-COVID we saw about 900 visits to the food shelf every single month. In August, we saw 1,350 visits to the food shelf,” said Alisha Olson with PRISM.
Olson says the pandemic not only impacted those facing food insecurities, it also affected donations.
“We typically see a lot of food drives with businesses or faith partners, schools,” said Olson. “But with those organizations not being in person, being virtual, it’s hard to host a food drive.”
PRISM officials say at the beginning of the pandemic the community answered the need for help. But since that time, donations have slowed down.
“We’ve definitely seen a decline overall in our donations. Luckily we’ve been in a really good place where it hasn’t impacted our operation and services we’ve been able to provide,” said Olson
The Golden Valley social service agency adapted to its new normal by changing the way it would normally bring in food donations.
“We have an Amazon wish list as well a Target registry,” said Olson. “It’s a great way for people to feel like they’re giving specifically, giving food. They can purchase items off our wish list and have them shipped directly to PRISM.
And for the first time, PRISM is taking part in the 2020 Walk to End Hunger virtual fundraiser.
“We want you to join us and really raise awareness about hunger and our community while raising some much needed funds to keep our organization sustainable through this pandemic,” said Olson.