CNN, Fox News and other 24/7 cable networks have been streaming live video into our homes showing the horrific problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
But few pictures capture the depths of the struggles than the ones showing lines of people wrapped around block after block in New York City waiting for meat, produce and other goods from food banks that have too little to hand out.
It hits home, and it hits hard — even in rural Walla Walla County, nearly 3,000 miles away and seemingly a galaxy apart in lifestyle.
Yet, people in New York, a city of more than 8 million that’s been the hardest hit by COVID-19, are facing the same basic problem as those in Walla Walla or College Place or Dayton or Waitsburg who have lost their jobs because of the pandemic: hunger.
And, like New York, the local food banks are short on needed goods to share with those in need.
As we all look for ways to help others in this national crisis, food and other essentials are desperately needed.
Locally, Helpline, Blue Mountain Action Council and Blue Mountain Community Foundation are three of several organizations that help provide for those in times of need.
BMAC distributes food to the other three food banks and offers food to people on Saturdays, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at 921 W. Cherry St., due to the pandemic. The Salvation Army and Pantry Shelf of Walla Walla also have food banks.
Washington state’s National Guard was recently called into action by Gov. Jay Inslee to replace locally and throughout the state food bank volunteers, many of whom are older and in the high-risk demographics for COVID-19. That was a good use of the Guard. Getting food to those who are without paychecks is critical at this time.
On Saturday, 43 National Guard soldiers distributed over 20,000 pounds of food to about 600 households in support of BMAC’s effort, according to a Washington National Guard social media post.
Now, to be clear, Walla Walla is not currently facing problems as deep as those in New York, but to those individuals in this community who are without work the pain is the same.
Please donate dollars to BMAC, Helpline and other agencies that help get food and other supplies to those who need it most. And when there is a food drive, donate generously.
This pandemic won’t end soon, and the demand for food for those in need is, sadly, never ending.
Help if you can.