Across the country, communities are using innovative approaches to support COVID-19 response efforts. Each week, FEMA is highlighting these extraordinary efforts so that other others can learn from and expand on them. This week focuses on community members that are going the extra mile to look after essential workers and provide local care.
Local Food Truck Provides Meals at Truck Stops
Owners of a local food truck in Grand Rapids, Colorado, took it upon themselves to help semi-truck drivers delivering vital supplies across the nation. With statewide stay-at-home orders in place, truck drivers are left with minimal options to access food or restrooms. To help support these critical members of the supply chain, the food truck served barbecue meals – available to truckers only – to ensure they had access to dinner while maintaining social distancing.
Automation to Reduce Essential Worker Exposure
As cities begin to suspend recycling services to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 among workers who sort through recyclables in close proximity and without adequate protective gear, there has been an increased use of robots that use artificial intelligence to fulfill this task. This involves identifying items on a conveyer and sorting them based on material composition. Similarly, grocery stores are relying on automation to relieve the burden on overworked employees by using robots to clean floors and to scan shelves to take inventory. Some stores are also using self-driving ground robots to deliver to customers in the area.
Establishing Centrally Located Sites to Deliver COVID-19 Assistance
Cities across the country are setting up centrally located sites to provide a one-stop shop for COVID-related information and key resources such as masks, hand sanitizer, and food items. Palace Station in Las Vegas, Nevada, is coordinating a weekly drive-through distribution center to provide hygiene kits, educational materials, and food items.15 FIND Food Bank in Palm Springs, California, is setting up temporary mobile markets to distribute perishable and non-perishable free food to qualifying families and individuals.
These stories are part of the FEMA Best Practice initiative, which focuses on compiling the best practices and lessons learned from communities fighting COVID-19. To see more stories like this, visit the Best Practices page.