Yuba-Sutter residents are coming together to meet the evolving needs of the community during the ongoing public health emergency.
A meeting took place Monday for area leaders to discuss the ongoing situation due to the coronavirus. One of the main concerns brought up during the meeting was the need for increased food supply in the area’s food banks and pantries. In attendance were representatives from governmental agencies, the local United Way, the Yuba-Sutter Community Task Force – a group created to address area needs that arise during an emergency – as well as members of the Yuba-Sutter Chamber of Commerce’s LEADership Yuba-Sutter program, among other area organizations.
After some planning, the resulting initiative was to collect donations to provide emergency food assistance to local at-risk individuals and to raise $100,000 to assist the area’s most vulnerable population.
“This initiative is being led by members of the task force and also the LEADership program, who are being called the Yuba-Sutter COVID-19 Relief Task Force,” said Stephanie McKenzie, director of the Yuba-Sutter Community Task Force and a Marysville council member. “The focus is to support the food banks and pantries and making sure they are supplied with the things they need as well as the volunteers to get those items out to the community.”
Those involved with the initiative plan to assist in various areas, including finding volunteers to deliver needed items to the elderly or immunocompromised, fundraising for local businesses or organizations that have been impacted, or gathering canned food and other items for local food banks.
Jeff Stephens, a member of the group and founder of SAYLove, an organization created to clean up blighted areas of the two counties, is helping lead the group’s Emergency Response Team. He and Rolling Stone Pizza owner Jim King are tasked with finding volunteers to help staff different efforts around the area, like the Yuba-Sutter Food Bank’s food delivery program that is providing needed resources to immunocompromised and homebound community members.
“We are all trying to work together as this crisis unfolds so that we are all not trying to duplicate the same services on our own,” Stephens said.
Stephens said the group is working to get an online database up where those interested in volunteering can sign up. In the meantime, he suggested people text him at 682-5348 for more information.