Owen Sound Salvation Army says Food Bank still operating
The Owen Sound Salvation Army wants residents to know ... they have been declared an essential service and they will be staying open.
Family Services Co-ordinator Alice Wannan tells Dock News they've implemented their 'worst case scenario' protocol already which means they're taking a number of precautions in both accepting and handing out food donations.
Anyone who needs to pick up food just needs to phone the office at 519-376-0957.
They'll be given a time to make the pick up; they ring the buzzer and they're asked to step away from the door six feet before the food is placed outside the door.
Wannan says its been extremely efficient and effective and they've been able to assist a lot of people in quick fashion.
Sadly, the food bank has had to suspend all volunteers which has created its own challenges.
Wannan says they're now packing the hampers themselves.
She says they've been working with Grey County Disaster Services, Salvation Army headquarters and Public Health for the past few weeks in order to prepare for this.
"We know that we're doing what we need to in order to limit the spread of this virus in our community".
Wannan says demand is of course high right now.
"I've been with the foodbank for 28 years and last week we saw our biggest week where we serviced 138 households representing 220 people. It was a huge week for us"
She says they've counted close to 10 new families accessing the food bank who've never been there before.
Wannan figures this could just be the tip of the iceburg.
"Yesterday when the announcement was made about non-essential businesses and services shutting down, our phones rang off the hook; people worried about the food bank closing".
Wannan says while demand is up, so too are the donations.
She says they've received a number of calls asking about the safest way to make a donation right now.
Public health officials have told the Salvation Army its ok to accept food donations at the grocery store bins as usual but Wannan says the best and safest way to help at the moment is through a financial donation."
Those wishing to do so can call the Salvation Army office (519-376-5699) and give their credit card information. A receipt will be issued in just a matter of days.
Or people can go online to 'salvationarmy.ca' - hit the DONATE button and then search for OWEN SOUND.
Wannan says their food supplies are in good shape right now. They're coming off a good Christmas and while the building is closed, their services are still being offered to those most vulnerable.
"I think this is our new norm for the next few months."
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