Coronavirus causes changes to food pantry’s distribution

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DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The coronavirus has changed the way a mobile pantry hands out food.

With God’s Grace Mobile Food Pantry held its first drive-up giveaway Saturday at the Drexel Church of the Nazarene in West Dayton.

“This is our trial run,” says Nicole Adkins who runs With God’s Grace. “We have to make sure that our families are staying safe.”

Without leaving the comfort of their cars, people drove up and picked up food. They were also able to pick up food for other families who couldn’t leave their homes, as long as they had their IDs and proof of need.

Adkins says the drive-up pantry is only temporary, but she’ll do it for as long as the coronavirus is a concern in order to help feed the hungry in the Miami Valley.

“The thing is we have to feed these families. We have to be able to get the food out to them,” stresses Adkins.

While not everyone showed up in a car, volunteers still didn’t turn away walk-ups, making them stay six feet apart.

“There will be a little bit of face to face contact there, but not everybody is jammed into one room like is normal here,” says Dan Acuff, who’s been volunteering for about two years.

Volunteers also took precautions.

“Washing our hands, protective gloves, washing down the food,” describes volunteer Ashley Couch, who started helping with the pantry several years ago.

“I’m 67 so I’m in a range where they say you got to be real careful,” says Acuff. “Everything we did, we had gloves on the whole time. We wash hands frequently, and I carry a bottle of hand sanitizer with me.”

The pantry has already changed a lot of their practices, and isn’t accepting food donations at this time.

“We can’t risk the cross-contamination of the items,” states Adkins.

Volunteers say even with challenges the coronavirus has put on families already struggling, they will continue to serve the community.

“It feels amazing. This is what I feel like my calling was is to help others,” says Couch. “The challenge is accepted and we’ll do whatever it takes.”

For now, they are continuing to rely on their faith and keeping their mission top of mind.

“I believe in God, and I’m doing what God wants me to do out here, and I think He’s going to take care of me,” says Acuff.

“We are going to make sure we can get the food to you no matter what,” says Adkins. “We’re going to figure it out.”

With God’s Grace is in need of tape, boxes, gloves, masks, and hand sanitizer. They also need monetary donations. To find out how to donate, click here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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