Please read this update from volunteer leaders Janice Rook and Melody Smiley.
In August, the Pop Up Pantry continued our successful efforts to serve clients weekly in their local communities. Working with National Church Residences, an organization that manages several supported housing complexes throughout Columbus, food was distributed to clients/families at the following agency sites:
August 5: Commons at Livingston-27 clients
August 12: Southpoint Apartments-32 clients/families
August 19: Commons at Grant-24 clients
August 26: North 22nd Street/Commons at Buckingham-40 clients
123 clients/families were served in August, an increase of 25 over those served in July.
Our team of three volunteers skillfully bagged food each Wednesday during the month. We were able to purchase 3 light-weight, portable dollies to use not only in the bagging process but also in loading the bags into the van and unloading these at the site. Additionally, we were able to purchase 2 folding tables for bagging food. This equipment improved our efficiency as well as provided for increased safety in the process (i.e., injury prevention).
We’re thankful this month for the assistance of our Share and Learn Garden and the ability to add fresh produce to the food provided for our Pop Up Pantry clients.
During August, we welcomed the addition of volunteer drivers who assist us by driving the van to our agency sites. One driver accompanied our volunteers each week, meeting us at the pantry after the bagging process was completed, assisting in loading the bags of food, and transporting and delivering it to our designated site. We’re grateful for the ability to use one of our church vans for the Pop Up Pantry.
Our entire team of dedicated volunteers worked diligently to ensure the needs of our clients were met each week. Those volunteering were Kitty Rohrer, Kathleen Hatcher, Rose Kandel, Carla Edlefson, Glen Zook, Steve Young, and Mark Tucker. Clients and agency contacts expressed much appreciation for the efforts of our team.
We’re grateful for Heart to Heart’s support of our outreach initiative and look forward to continuing to grow the Pop Up Pantry in serving more clients and in expanding our work with other community agencies to identify new sites for the pantry. The Pop Up Pantry is committed to furthering the mission of Heart to Heart and our church in serving others as God calls us to do and in meeting the needs of our local communities during this time of a serious pandemic and increased food insecurity.
The Pop-Up Pantry will continue to operate during the brief hiatus.