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Session 5
Distributing Emergency Food
During a Pandemic
Today’s Objectives
 To review the seven steps that an
emergency food team will need to consider
 Assess the potential need for emergency food
 Accumulate nutritious food stocks
 Properly store food stock prior to distribution
 Prioritize recipients
 Determine when it is time to distribute food
 Safely distribute
 Maintain transparency
Assessing the potential need for food
Two Considerations
 Level of Risk: How likely is it that your
region will experience food shortages
during a severe pandemic?
 Capacity to Respond: How able is the
region to respond rapidly and effectively
when the pandemic arrives?
Level of Risk
 Where does your food come from and how
reliable are these sources? How much is
imported ?
 How does the food arrive to the wholesale
markets or local distributors and how likely is it
that these routes can be disrupted? Where are
the wholesale distributors located?
 How does the food get from the wholesale
distributors to the retail stores?
Level of Risk
 What is the size of the population of the
municipality and how is it distributed
 Where do households normally obtain
their food supplies?
 When is produced food available/ not
available to households?
Capacity to Respond
 Who has prior experience in managing
emergency food or similar mass
distribution programs? Are they
available to help?
 What financial and human resources
does the area have to purchase, store,
distribute and manage emergency food
Capacity to Respond
Municipal government agencies
Agricultural producers and processors
Labor and farmer associations
Humanitarian and development NGOs
National emergency management agency authorities
and leaders
Food wholesalers and retail markets
Transportation companies/associations
Community-based & religious organizations
Public security agencies
Capacity to Respond
 What kinds and quantities of your food are
produced and available locally? At what
times of the year?
 What space can be made available for
storage and distribution of emergency food
 How can transportation be made available
to transport food rations?
 Are there sufficient numbers and types of
transportation, vehicles and drivers?
Assessing the potential need for food
Level of Risk
to Respond
most at Risk
What type of food items should be acquired ?
 Non-perishables
 Grains, fats, protein, shelf stable milk, fruits
and vegetables, sugar, iodized salt
During a pandemic, you may be purchasing or
gathering donations of fresh fruits and
Prevent Waste ! Handle these items carefully and
distribute them within a few days.
How much food will we need to acquire?
Determined by:
 Population size
 Daily number of calories needed –
2100 average
 Existing level of food security and
 Amount of food already present
Nutritional quality of stockpiled food
 Protein: 10 to 12 percent of the energy in the
diet should be in the form of protein (i.e., 52g
to 63g of protein per day).
 Fat/oil: At least 17 percent of the energy in the
diet should be in the form of fat (i.e., 40g of fat
per day).
 Micronutrients: Essential micronutrients
should also be included, particularly vitamin A
(found in vitamin A fortified oil, fortified flour, or
fortified sugar) and iodine (found in iodized
Where can we obtain food for emergency
 Donations or by direct purchase
local food producers
retail markets
Why would these groups donate food?
 Overproduction, inventory control,
packaging errors, or changes in product
The pandemic virus has arrived full force, and
there is no surplus food in the community !!!
 Immediately contact the department level
government and any humanitarian aid or
development agency working in the region
about possible emergency food distribution.
 Spread critical food security messages
through risk/crises communication channels
 Initiate agreements w/ merchants and food
Storing Emergency Food Stocks
 Warehouses to receive, store and prepackage donated and purchased food
 Temporary distribution centers
 Schools
 Churches
 Community centers
 Enclosed markets
Considerations for food storage areas
 Location should allow for relatively easy
 No hazardous substances
 Cool, dry, and well-ventilated
 Don’t store food on the ground
 First in, First out FIFO
Provide security for all food storage
spaces and transportation systems
Determining who gets food first
When food is in short supply…
Prioritize !!
 Classifying Food Security Risk Locations
- where
 Identifying People Most at Risk of Food
Insecurity- who
Determining when it is time to distribute
food rations
 If food rations are distributed too early, the
community may run out of food before the
pandemic wave is over.
 If food rations are distributed too late,
people may die from starvation, or they
may migrate to other areas in search of
Determining when it is time to distribute
food rations
Remain constantly alert to key indicators
 Indicator # 1 - Less food is available in
local markets or from local production
 Indicator #2 Economic systems are
 Indicator #3 Each week more people are
sick or dying from the influenza.
These may happen in any order and may
happen all at the same time.
Distributing emergency food rations
How much food should be given to each
 Calculate an average food ration for one
person based on 2,100 calories per person
per day.
 Multiply the # of people in the HH by the
average daily ration.
 Pre-package food to last each HH for one
 Some HH will only need partial rations
Distributing emergency food rations
Sample Daily Ration
Nutritional Value
400g of cereal/grain
Energy 2,100 Kcal
60g of pulses
Protein 58 g
25 g of oil (Vit. A fortified)
Fat 43g
50 g of fortified blended
foods (Corn Soya Blend)
15g of sugar
15g of iodized salt
Multiply the # of people in each HH by the average daily ration.
Distributing emergency food rations
What type of distribution method should be
If Social distancing IS NOT in place
 Existing markets, community centers, NGO
pantries, school or church facilities, or other
service groups.
 Prepared meals can be provided through
shelters for the homeless and abused
persons, community soup kitchens, hospitals
and senior centers.
Distributing emergency food rations
If social distancing IS in place
 Small-scale, decentralized drop-off points
in neighborhoods
 HH retrieve their rations on a schedule that
avoids lines.
 Volunteers deliver rations directly to
individual households
Attendants must
practice all NPIs
Maintaining transparency
 Inform the public about emergency food
Public awareness campaigns
Nutrition education
Emergency news bulletins
Emergency preparedness materials & events
Telephone hotlines
Maintaining transparency
Monitoring and reporting
 make adjustments and changes needed
 ensure that all those in need are receiving
 check if the assistance is being used as
 verify that people are not forced to resort to
migration in search of food or employment or
forced to use negative coping strategies
Thank You