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Food Finders walk-up pantry is re-opening with new safety methods

Food Finders walk-up pantry is re-opening with new safety methods

Posted: Aug 4, 2020 7:11 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) -- Food Finders Food Bank is working toward a new normal.

The non-profit has re-opened it's walk-up pantry after five months of being closed. It has been functioning "drive-through" style since social-distancing rules took effect earlier this year.

"The last few weeks, we have been working out all the details with our onsite pantry here on Greenbush," said Adam Meyer, Director of Programs at Food Finders.

Food Finders located on 1204 Greenbush St. is operating its walk-up pantry again with some new safety measures.

"We've outlined areas on the sidewalk for people to keep six feet apart, we're also going to ask everybody to wear masks while they're waiting in line and when they're receiving their food," said Meyer.

The food retrieval process will work as it has before. People will get checked in and after that will receive their food.

Meyer said the food portion will be the same at the walk-up pantry as it was at the drive-through pantry even though the walk-up pantry is operating more days a week.

"We're going to maintain that same amount of food just to make sure that people don't have to come here every day but they're more than welcome to if they need to," said Meyer.

Food Finders Chief Engagement Officer Kier Crites said this month is a soft re-opening for the pantry. Right now they're working to transition more volunteers in as the national guard members head out around fall.

"We're trying things to make sure our volunteers feel comfortable as well as our staff and our clients and things like that so we've got several safety measures put in place," said Crites.

This includes a mask requirement, taking temperatures before entering the pantry, and sanitation stations placed throughout the building. They'll also have older and more at-risk volunteers working the first shift of the day to avoid coming in contact with possible COVID-19 carriers. All the indoor spaces in the building will also be sanitized every night.

Crites says, making sure volunteers can come back has been equally important as getting the walk-up pantry re-operating.

"We use volunteers all the time, we could not do what we do without volunteers," said Crites. "Now as the national guard is looking to kind of phase out this fall and as we start to bring volunteers back in, I couldn't ask for anything more its been great that we have these two wonderful groups to work with and help us with that transition."

Food Finders is looking for volunteers now. If you're interested, you can find that information here.  The walk up-pantry hours are Mondays and Wednesdays from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Tuesdays and Fridays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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