Executive Director Andy Brunsman of Be Concerned: The People’s Pantry loads food into a car under the agency’s new “no-contact car-hop style” of distributing food. It needs volunteers to wheel carts and load boxes.
Pantry created 'safe' way to distribute food but seeks help
COVINGTON, Ky. - Covington's largest food pantry immediately needs "able bodies" to help it put that food in the hands (or more accurately, the "cars") of those who desperately need it during the coronavirus pandemic.
The only requirements? That you can wheel a shopping cart through a parking lot and load bags and boxes of food into a car's trunk or back seat.
Three weeks ago, Be Concerned: The People's Pantry adopted a safe "no-contact car-hop style" distribution method to limit public contact between volunteers and clients at its Covington and Erlanger locations.
In the month of March alone, the pantry served 1,520 families, a new record.
"We're just worn out and we need help," Executive Director Andy Brunsman said. "I know there are a lot of generous people out there who are looking for a place they can make a difference while not jeopardizing their own health, and here's a way."
Be Concerned distributes food during four time slots:
- Noon-3 p.m. Mondays-Fridays at its United Ministries location 525 Graves Ave. in Erlanger.
- 3:30 p.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays at its main location at 1100 Pike St. in Covington.
- 9:30 a.m.-noon Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays in Covington.
- 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Mondays-Fridays in Covington as part of its emergency assistance program.
Be Concerned especially needs volunteers during the first three time slots, Brunsman said.
Here, a volunteer heads back to the pantry to fill an order and his cart while, in the background, Executive Director Andy Brunsman takes another order. Note that since this picture, volunteers have begun wearing masks.
With the "car-hop style" of distribution, clients stay in their vehicles. Brunsman or another staffer hands them a "menu" of food items, and - after it's filled out - he delivers the list to the pantry.
"Inside" volunteers fill the order and put the food into a shopping cart, and "outside" volunteers wheel the cart to the car and load the food into the vehicle. Those are the volunteers that are needed, he said.
He noted that volunteers would not be interacting with clients and would be "socially distanced" from everybody.
"Our slogan has always been 'do more, for more, with more' - but we need help doing that," Brunsman said. "People shouldn't have to worry about where their next meal comes from."
He said that Be Concerned may also soon need drivers and others who can use their vehicles to deliver large quantities to other agencies and/or individuals.
To donate to Be Concerned, you can go online HERE
; mail a check to 1100 Pike St., Covington, KY 41011; or order from its Amazon wish list - HERE
An "inside" volunteer fills an order.
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