The COVID-19 crisis is exacerbating already precarious financial situations for many Sonoma County families. While our statewide shelter in place order seems to be slowing the spread of the virus, it’s also leaving many of our local residents without work, without income and unsure how they’ll continue to feed themselves and their families. To meet this growing need for food in our community, Corazón Healdsburg has expanded its regular Groceries to Go program. In partnership with the City of Healdsburg and several nonprofits, we’re now providing some 300 families per week with fresh produce, shelf-stable and frozen food, and cooked meals donated from local restaurants. Each week, more families arrive in need of food. While there are some familiar faces, many are new to Groceries to Go and say they need food because of the impacts of COVID-19. Programs Manager Lizbeth Perez says interactions are limited as everyone keeps their distance, but that the clients she’s spoken to are often worried about lost jobs and deeply grateful for the food. Corazón staff and volunteers are also packing groceries for City of Healdsburg staff to deliver to seniors in our community. To keep everyone safe and healthy, staff and volunteers are all wearing gloves and masks and we’ve reduced the number of volunteers on site. Those who are picking up food don’t need to leave their cars, although there is also a walk-up option for people without transportation. We’re able to provide families with a wide range of groceries and food thanks to support from our incredible partners. We have fresh eggs from Farm to Fight Hunger, a Healdsburg-based farm that donates 100% of its eggs and produce to local nonprofits. Sonoma Family Meal, which was founded in the wake of the 2017 fires to provide food to displaced families, is now coordinating hot meals from Single Thread, Pizzando, John Ash and other local restaurants for our community members in need. FEED Sonoma and Farm to Pantry donate locally grown fresh produce. And Redwood Empire Food Bank, the largest hunger-relief organization in our region, has been delivering produce, frozen meat, canned goods, beans, cereals, and rice by the truckload. If you are in need of food, our Groceries to Go program takes place each Tuesday at 12 p.m. in the back parking lot of the Healdsburg Community Center, located at 1557 Healdsburg Avenue. There are no residency or income requirements and anyone in need of food is welcome. Corazón Healdsburg recently opened our Unity and Community COVID-19 Relief Fund. The Fund will focus on three priority areas: food, housing and homelessness, and economic security. We are committed to distributing food to our most vulnerable community members, including seniors, children and low-income individuals and families. If you would like to support our efforts to ensure that those hit hardest by the effects of the virus can count on support to feed themselves and their families, please click here to make a donation.