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Feeding the Hungry: No Small Feat During COVID-19

With today’s uncertainty and concern surrounding the COVID-19 virus, food banks are ramping up efforts to feed the hungry, while making necessary changes and following  safety protocols in an effort to continue providing food to those in need.

Food Share

Food Share, Ventura County’s food bank, is coordinating a county-wide effort to provide pop-up pantries in the wake of multiple food pantry closures. More than 20 existing pantries in the county have been forced to close their doors as the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak continues to grow.

“We are working on providing alternative locations for low-income people experiencing food insecurity to be able to access nutritious food,” says Monica White, president and CEO of Food Share. “We are immensely grateful to everyone who is working with us to provide temporary distribution sites, including the Conejo Recreation & Park District, the Camarillo Airport and the Ventura County Fairgrounds.”

Details of the new distribution sites along with pantry closures are available at The lists will be updated as new information unfolds.

Food boxes will be available for low-income families and individuals, limited to one box per household.

“We will continue to add distributions as needed to support our community and our network of pantries,” says White. “Our mission to lead the fight against hunger in Ventura County is more important than ever.”

To make a donation in support of Food Share, visit

Our Community Cupboard

The California Lutheran University community cupboard, located in the Samuelson Chapel lounge, provides non-perishable food items, grocery store gift cards and Ullman Common meals to any current student who may have need of them. 

“Usually students can just walk in and get food and gift cards,” says Karin Grennan, media relations manager at CLU in Thousand Oaks.

“When we had to close the campus because of COVID, we arranged for students to access it by calling Campus Safety to arrange to have officers let them inside,” she explains. “We also arranged for students to contact Residence Life staff if they needed grocery story gift cards.”

Additionally, there is a way for students to request meal swipes at Ullman Commons.

“About a month ago, we replenished the cupboard because a lot of food had been taken,” Grennan notes. “We also posted flyers and emailed students still living on campus to let them know that they could make requests. We’ve bought eggs, bleach, cleaning supplies, energy bars, toilet paper and snack items on request. We also restocked the supply of Trader Joe’s gift cards.”

To support the Community Cupboard, go to; select the Community Cupboard from the drop-down designation list. Donations will be used to purchase supplies to keep the cupboard stocked for students. Donate food and arrange a drop-off:

Manna Conejo Valley Food Bank

Founded in 1971 by a group of people who felt that no person should ever go hungry in the Conejo Valley, Manna Conejo Valley Food Bank has been providing food assistance in the community for more than four decades.

The Manna team is committed to supporting the community through this pandemic and is taking necessary precautions, including following the cleaning and safety guidelines put forth by the CDC and the World Health Organization. These include but are not limited to:

  1. Regular interval cleaning: sanitizing doorknobs, cooler handles, cart handles and any surface that is regularly touched.
  2. Providing disinfecting wipes and sanitizers and implementing social distancing.
  3. Posting coronavirus prevention protocol posters.

Manna is open and operating during normal hours. The team is monitoring the situation closely and may modify pantry hours if necessary and change how people shop for food in order to comply with social-distancing recommendations. Meanwhile, the Manna team asks for patience and understanding as they continue to navigate the safest and most effective way to support the community.

To make a donation, call 805.497.4959 or visit