Despite a large increase in Delaware families seeking help over the past month, the Pacer Pantry remains well-stocked and is “overflowing” thanks to the community.
Lily Wiest, program coordinator for Delaware City Schools Family Resource Center, said Friday the community “really came through” after the COVID-19 crisis started, adding the pantry continues to receive donations to help families with food and supplies.
Wiest said the pantry has seen an increase in demand since the stay-at-home order was issued last month.
“Since school first closed in mid-March, we’ve had 114 visits to our crisis pantry,” Wiest said. “In comparison, we had 24 visits in the entire month of February. On average, we’re serving about twice as many people per week.”
Despite the increase in clients, the pantry remains well supplied, Wiest said.
“We are still overflowing with donations,” she added. “We’ve been so lucky to receive such incredible support from the community, including several cash donations, as well. We’re feeling much more confident about being able to meet the need then we were several weeks ago.”
Wiest said the pantry is doing well, but there will always be things it is in need of.
“The best way for people to help is to follow the DCS Family Resource Center page on Facebook,” Wiest said. “As new needs emerge, I will post donation pleas for specific items there. Those without access to Facebook who are interested in helping can also call the resource center at 740-833-1619.”
Wiest added she and pantry staff have been taking precautions over the past month to keep themselves and their clients safe, including wearing gloves to handle all food, and preparing boxes, putting them on carts, and wheeling them out the door to clients instead of having them come in.
“This way there is no hand-to-hand contact and everyone remains six feet apart,” Wiest said.
The pantry is open Monday through Friday by appointment only and anyone in the county is eligible. Clients should call 740-833-1619 to schedule an appointment. There is no requirement to prove income or provide identification, Wiest said.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.