The Pacer Pantry will continue to offer its services heading into the holidays.
The pantry operates out of Willis Education Center and provides free food and household supplies to families within the Delaware City School District. Since the start of the pandemic, the pantry saw a sharp increase in families using the pantry’s services — up to twice its normal volume of clients — but has been able to maintain its supplies thanks to monetary donations and community support, according to Lily Wiest, the program coordinator for the district’s Family Resource Center.
Wiest said this week the pantry is doing fine and has been getting one to two visits a day.
She added the Family Resource Center will continue to operate the Weekend Food Bag program, wherein meals for the weekend are sent home to students during the week. Wiest said the weekend meals can be picked up at all school locations on Wednesday mornings.
The pantry is remain open and available for families in need, Wiest added. The pantry’s hours are Monday and Wednesday mornings from 9 a.m. to noon; and Thursday afternoon from 1 to 4 p.m. Appointments can also be made by calling 740-833-1619.
There is no requirement to prove income or provide ID in order to use the pantry.
Wiest said at the start of the pandemic that there had been several changes to procedure in order to increase safety, adding she wears a mask and gloves to handle all the food bags. Also, no clients are currently allowed in the building. Instead, Wiest said she prepacks boxes of food and items, and puts them on a cart and wheels them out the door. There is no hand-to-hand contact, and the new procedure allows everyone to stay six-feet apart.
In March, Wiest said food insecurity is an “underestimated issue,” and she’s proud of the work the pantry has been able to do with its limited size. Wiest added the smaller size of the pantry actually allows for flexibility in order to meet client’s needs.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.