How Food Pantries Are Managing During Covid


IFC adapts to a contactless drive-through model in March to keep their volunteers and recipients safe. Photo by Veronica Castro


Many businesses and organizations have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic that hit our country in March. Among those organizations was Interfaith Food Center (IFC), located in Santa Fe Springs, CA.

The food pantry, which serves the hungry and homeless in Whittier, La Mirada, and Santa Fe Springs, has had a 60% increase of recipients due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, IFC lost 80% of their volunteers due to a majority of their volunteers being high risk ages for having severe health issues if they were to contract the Coronavirus.

IFC Executive Director, Veronica Castro said, “As an essential service, IFC had a quick and immediate response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We had to completely revise our distribution procedures for the Supplemental Grocery Program – to go from a client choice model to a contactless drive-through model.”

Their large increase of recipients can be attributed to the vast amount of people who have lost their jobs because of the Coronavirus shutdowns and layoffs. The USC Food Insecurity study shows how more than 1 in 4 families in Los Angeles County couldn’t access nutritious food at least once between April and July of 2020.

IFC has also had to change the way some of their different programs run in order to keep everyone safe.

“We implemented distancing in our Homeless Food Bag program, and unfortunately our Mobile Nutrition Pantry for seniors came to an immediate halt to protect the seniors,” said Castro.

IFC is still taking volunteers and food donations. However, their volunteering opportunities are fully booked through December due to their limited occupancy to maintain social distance. Food donations are still being accepted although they cannot perform pick-up donations because of their lack of drivers.

IFC is located at 11819 Burke St, Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670. To volunteer go to . You must make an account and sign up to volunteer. More volunteering options will be made available in January.

If you are in need and want to see if you qualify for their services and programs visit .