The Honey Brook Food Pantry has served 1,545 people through April 30, a 48 percent increase, amid coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
“As expected, the financial stress placed on the local population and food supply chain has had significant implications for our operation at the Honey Brook Food Pantry,” Kenneth Ross, Board Chair, Honey Brook Food Pantry Board of Directors.
Ross reported in the spring food pantry newsletter that the Pantry has increased Friday distributions within the community, served emergency situations “on demand” and added an additional opening for unserved large families. The pantry is also maintaining as many special programs as possible, including the Infant-Age 3 Supplemental Nutrition Program and distributing Kids’ Bags for each child in place of the formal backpack program.
“In terms of the unprecedented need, during the six week period since the effective closing of the economy, 450 families have been served, encompassing 1,545 people through April 30, a 48 percent increase, including the largest distribution ever of 506 people,” reported Ross.
Also 48 new families have been registered, each with its own individual story compared with 14 at this time last year.
“Procurement, storage, refrigeration and distribution of the higher quantity, variety and quality of food, continues to be a truly collaborative effort. One distribution required food to arrive from nine separate sources including five refrigeration sites by 9 a.m. Our grocery, church and organizational partners have provided fabulous support,” said Ross.
The community response to the pantry’s efforts has been overwhelming, he said.
“Letters, messages, posts, and calls have provided nearly daily encouragement and offers of all kinds of support from donated freezers to bins full of food and cash donations in all denominations. The people we serve and each of us who spend time with them deeply appreciate that support,” said Ross.
Through these recent weeks the pantry’s volunteer team continues to be the backbone of the organization.
“Adapting to a model of drive-thru distribution, proper distancing and striving to improve our offering each week has been the challenge. As always, our volunteers have been there and have far exceeded that challenge,” he said.
Some difficult days may lie ahead.
“Yet because of our volunteers, our supporters and our friends, the Honey Brook Food Pantry is well prepared to do whatever is needed to address food insufficiency in the Honey Brook community,” said Ross.
For more information about the Honey Brook Food Pantry or for more about how to get involved, visit www.honeybrookfoodpantry.org.