In March of 2020, we changed our once client-choice food pantry back to a curbside model it was prior to 2016. Instead of having people shop for food, we knew it would be safer to load up their cars.
We were also able to develop a system that allowed us to serve more people in a day as demand grew. Last fiscal year, we were serving about 30 families a day. When COVID-19 hit, we were serving up to 90 each day.
The pandemic took its toll on our nation. Our neighborhoods were no exception.
One of our pantry clients, Jeannie, said she owned her own business, but things have slowed down considerably since March.
That is why she came to us. Jeannie said her aunt is a patient at our Open Door Clinic and told her to come to us for groceries.
Jeannie says she comes to us about once a month.
One thing we did not want to compromise on when turning back to a curbside model was the quality of food we were handing out. At Urban Ministries of Wake County, we believe nutrition is an important part of the equation.
We pride ourselves on being about half stocked with fresh produce and frozen meat. Our own garden brings in thousands of pounds of produce each year. We also source fresh food from our partners like the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina and Interfaith Food Shuttle.
At the beginning of the pandemic, supply chain issues caused us to have to source food from new partners like US Foods and Sysco. It was more expensive, but we wanted to provide the same level of service we had before.
Recipients like Jeannie like the food they are given.
“Everything is very good. My kids love fresh potatoes and the chicken fingers. I cut the potatoes into fries and they really enjoy them.”
Though we have cut back dramatically on the number of volunteers we allow on site, we do need 6 volunteers onsite each day we are open to help keep up this model. You can apply and see the hours we need you here.
There are other ways to help with our Hunger and Nutrition program, too.
-Give a monetary donation
-Host a virtual food drive
-Make an appointment for a traditional food drive and drop-off
Learn more here.