With the Governor’s order today we wanted to give everyone an update…we will still be serving clients [at our main distribution location, Athens Couny Job and Family Services Center] on the porch, through the window [as ACJFS is closed to the public]. As a non-profit providing service in the community we are currently exempt. . . We are scrambling to source the massive amounts of food we require to serve over 500 households each month but as long as we can find food and we are permitted to stay open we will do so. Please understand we are dealing with this situation the best we can, please be patient and when on the porch, stay 6′ apart!!
Today we had a shining example of how our community comes together and shares resources. Bob Evans restaurant reached out to My Sister’s Place with extra food including eggs. They couldn’t use all of them so they contacted us and we just delivered 25 dozen eggs to our distribution location for tomorrow. Dina from MSP suggested that I contact the Bob Evans manager as well. That is resulting in an additional 90 dozen….yes, NINETY DOZEN eggs for our clients. Plus additional fresh fruit! Nothing goes to waste as we are all pooling our resources and contacts to make sure as much food as possible gets out into the county. Our third pack of this week is taking place right now and the volunteer delivery crew will be ready to roll at 8am in the morning. BIG THANK YOU shout out to BOB EVANS and MY SISTER’S PLACE!
Distribution volunteers continue to work, one even made masks for us while another was able to find locally made hand sanitizer. We ARE all in this together and as challenging as the empty shelves have been, the canceled deliveries have forced us to be even more creative, and the lifting through the window has stretched us (literally!!!), we soldier on. One more day and we will have made it through Week #2 of this…please send us your positive thoughts for the next few!!! #wearefeedingathenscounty #volunteersmakeithappen
One gallon of milk….imagine what 109 gallons can do!!! That is what the Union Street Starbucks shared with us late last Friday before they closed. Over 100 families had fresh milk this week because of the generosity and kindness of Bryan, the store manager. In addition, he shared dozens of breakfast sandwiches, wraps, and other baked goods. When this store reopens, stop by, grab a drink and say THANK YOU for helping feed families in Athens County!!!
Sunday update….many thanks to Michael S. Harrington and Erin Holly-Elizabeth Bright for meeting today to re-configure our distribution area. We have added a table outside to make it easier for volunteers and clients to move the food bags and boxes without contact. We also re-designed our inside layout to ensure proper distance will be easier to maintain. As we all are dealing with this unprecedented situation, bear with us as we do our very best to continue to serve our clients. We are the only pantry in the county that serves every week day for a total of 45 , yes, FORTY FIVE service hours EVERY week! With this crisis, we may need to adjust hours but if we do, we will announce it widely. But for this week, Monday – Friday from 8 – 5 is the plan. But as we know, things are changing every day and we will do our very best as we too adjust to major changes. Many thanks to all of you who support our work in the community and we will continue to need that support. Our appreciation is limitless!!!!
In response to the COVID-19 epidemic, we are changing our food aid distribution hours. Starting on April 6, the new hours will be 10 AM to 3 PM Monday through Friday.
I want everyone to know that we are NOT changing the amount of food we distribute, or the number of clients we serve. The food will be there. This is a smart and safe temporary change. Times like these are incredibly troubling and we are doing our very best to feed our neighbors. Food insecurity is such an issue, and COVID-19 layoffs are only rubbing salt into a open wound. We have already expanded the numbers we serve, and we are ready to serve more, even though we are limiting the hours we are open for food distribution. We will get through this crisis as we have in the past – by neighbor helping neighbor.”
The Athens County Food Pantry sends a HUGE THANK YOU to Tracy and Heiners for their very generous donation of bread and buns for our clients! Because of the size of this donation, we will be sharing with the Full Belly Program at ACDJFS. On behalf of the board, our volunteers and most importantly, our clients, the Athens County Food Pantry once again says THANK YOU!!!
Edit update….we had our first Senior Box distribution today and we were able to share bread and buns with those boxes. Thanks again Heiners – more people that you helped feed!!
A very late update…service numbers for March – 617 households. That is 118 more HOUSEHOLDS than served in February…And we will continue to serve throughout this crisis unless we are ordered to shut down. The latest shut-down order from Governor DeWine lists us as essential…a nonprofit providing service to an underserved population. Yes, our volunteers are some of those people you see out and about, unpaid, spending their time giving back. We are doing everything we can to make distribution as safe as we can but understand this….these volunteers are taking a chance as they work but they know how critical the need for food is in Athens County. But those 617 households matter…every single one, every single person! #volunteerscare #wecantdoitalone #617householdsmatter
Update: we added six more households (forms were not yet entered) for a total of 623 households served in March. As the Ohio county with the highest food insecurity rate (20%) BEFORE the pandemic hit, we can only imagine what the percentage will be now. Help your family, friends and neighbors in any way you can, it is that critical!!! #athenscountycares #inthistogether
Update: When the dust settled, we actually served 647 households in March!
President and Volunteer