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Coronavirus and High Flu Season Response

Coronavirus and High Flu Season Response image
Update [3/25/2020]: Gleaners is providing SNAP Application Assistance to those who need help. We recognize that many individuals may be newly eligible and the process can seem overwhelming. Assistance is completely free and confidential. Call our Snap Hotline at 317.644.1280.

Coronavirus Update [3/25/2020]: Our work continues. We’ve adapted and will continue to do so and have been distributing food at a record pace since March 10. We continue to work with the Indianapolis Public Schools and various other organizations working to ensure that those who need help, have help during this national health and economic emergency.

We’ve more than doubled the households served at our Community Cupboard. Because our volunteer numbers have dropped, we’ve hired temporary workers to pack emergency boxes. Many on our team are assisting in assembling and distributing food boxes. Our volunteer tasks fluctuate daily and, recognizing we are considered an essential business, many individuals in our community have stepped up to volunteer for the first time. We appreciate this and will continue to need and welcome volunteers. To sign up to volunteer visit https://gleaners.volunteerhub.com/.

The number of Hoosiers in need has risen dramatically. Our usual distributions cover 400 households per day for the pantry. Since mid-March we have seen upwards of 1,190 at the highest and growing. To help today visit gleaners.org/donate.

Coronavirus Update [3/20/2020]: Shopping for others who are ill or at high-risk? Complete this form prior to visiting our pantry. Click here for Spanish.

Healthy and able to volunteer? We are short on volunteers to help provide food to our Hoosier neighbors during this difficult time. Visit https://gleaners.volunteerhub.com/ to sign up for a shift that works for you.

Can't join us in person? It's easy to support with the gift of a meal box for a family in need. A gift of just $20 could help provide a family with meals for the week. We will need a minimum of $500,000 in weekly donations to meet the level of need for this new COVID-19 family box distribution model at current levels of service, just for food purchase alone. Visit gleaners.org/donate to make a gift today.

Need to find information on hours and location updates? Visit https://www.gleaners.org/hours-weather-updates/ and stay up to date on any cancellations, reschedules or location changes.

coronavirus image of virus from cdc You may recall we posted an update on the coronavirus earlier this week. We have a more recent update on our response to Coronavirus and High Flu Season below.

  • Effective tomorrow, March 10, 2020, distribution at the Community Cupboard will be modified to a drive-through distribution. The pantry itself, including restroom facilities, will be closed.
  • Family meal boxes will be distributed, as well as options for fresh produce of the clients’ choice.
  • Coordination with Indy Hunger Network partners, as well as state and local officials is ongoing.
  • Ongoing updates will be posted to social media.

Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana will be modifying their distribution method for their on-site Community Cupboard Food Pantry beginning Tuesday, March 10. Pantry hours will remain the same during the week.

Tuesday, March 10 10 am to 3 pm
Wednesday, March 11 10 am to 3 pm
Thursday, March 12 2 to 7 pm

The distribution scheduled for Saturday, March 14 will be cancelled due to a lower number of volunteers and staff available that day. The Senior Shopping Day scheduled for Monday, March 16 from 10 am to Noon will go on as scheduled, again in the drive-through format.

Volunteers and staff will be available to guide clients when they arrive at the Gleaners warehouse. Due to parking and environmental issues, clients are asked to arrive no earlier than 9:30 am and to not idle cars as they wait.

“It is important that we prepare appropriately for several possible scenarios, continue to modify procedures as needed, but also remain calm and focused on our current responsibilities to clients and others – not overreacting, but taking prudent steps to prepare for possibilities,” said John Elliott, President/CEO. “We feel modifying our distribution is a good step, eliminating the need for clients, staff, and volunteers to congregate in our waiting area.”

Gleaners continues to coordinate response with Indy Hunger Network partners, as well as state and local officials. “Low-income families and the elderly are most at-risk,” said Elliott. He noted that a 2-week work or school closure could be disastrous for these families. “Missing a paycheck can mean the difference between having enough to make ends meet and not being able to pay for rent, prescription medications, utilities, transportation, and food.”

An additional complicating factor in the hunger-relief network, is that many pantries are staffed by volunteers who fall in these same high-risk groups. Proactive communication to Gleaners’ 585 agencies, schools, and community organizations will be ongoing. Hygiene and other non-food items will be made available to agencies.

“As the situation continues to evolve, we’re being mindful of the role that we play in any disaster, be in a natural disaster or quickly spreading disease such as coronavirus. We recognize that an increased burden will be placed on the charitable hunger-relief network, and that as a leader, Gleaners has a responsibility to be both proactive and measured in our response,” said Elliott.

For the most up-to-date information on any additional response from Gleaners or agency partners, visit gleaners.org, or follow Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana on Facebook, or on Twitter at GleanersFBIndy.
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