Helping communities affected by the western wildfires

September 16, 2020
by Paul Morello

What’s happening?

Wildfires in California, Oregon and Washington State have devastated more than 7,000 square miles, forcing the evacuations of hundreds of thousands of residents and killing at least 35 people with dozens more missing. The August Complex Fire in California and the Beachie Creek Fire in Oregon are among the two largest in both states, burning a combined 1,000 square miles. Wildfires are also impacting parts of Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana.

As the West Coast region continues to deal with the pandemic, the wildfires have made a difficult time even more challenging with many residents waiting to know when – or if – they can return home.

What are Feeding America and food banks doing to help?

The evacuations caused many people to leave home without food and other emergency supplies. Local food banks are stepping in to ensure our neighbors impacted by the fires have food and resources for as long as they need. Thanks to our partners, we were able to provide masks that are effective at protecting against smoke to the SF-Marin Food Bank and two truckloads of water to the Oregon Food Bank. Additionally, two more truckloads of disaster boxes are en route to the impacted area.

With emergency supplies stationed throughout the country, our national network can prepare for and respond quickly to natural disasters. In anticipation of the wildfires, Redwood Empire Food Bank in California was able to store and distribute disaster food boxes. Food banks in other states are also prepared to support local food banks with emergency supplies, trucks, staff and volunteers as needed.

How can I help?