By Sunni Matters, Director of Impact
Many of our initiatives, including Agencies, Senior Safety Net, The Big Idea, Forward S.T.E.P.S., have moved to a drive thru style of distribution, instead of community events inside sometimes small spaces, and that’s gone about as well as can be expected, under the circumstances. Some Agencies are saying they prefer this method and might continue to use it going forward, but that limits the ability of the people we’re serving to choose their food, which is an important part of relationship building. We’re looking at ways to balance safety and convenience, especially with many events staffed by older, at risk volunteers.
Several distribution sites have begun letting people back into their buildings, with limits on how many people are allowed in at a time. That’s an option that some schools are starting to explore as we return to our normal roster, instead of the reduced number we were serving in the summer. We are glad to work with schools individually to fill their unique needs, especially as we find ways to bring in community partners and career presenters. Many are exploring making literature available, as well as specialized virtual opportunities for the families, which allows resource providers working from home to still be there for their neighbors.
My long term goals include continuing to grow our initiatives to reach more people in more places, but for now, I’m glad we’re able to maintain the connections we’ve made with families by a willingness to embrace innovation. People are getting more comfortable with the unknown and moving pieces. It’s been several months now and overall people are willing to adjust. I think it’s building some resilience. We’re all pulling together and getting through it.