The Rimbey Food Bank continues to faithfully serve the community within the challenges of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
”The Food Bank is very much up and running,” said Jamie Coston, volunteer programs coordinator with Rimbey Family Community Support Services. “We are really working at keeping it functioning during this time and into the future, because I think it’s only going to get busier,” she said.
The Food Bank is operated out of the basement of the Rimbey Church of the Nazarene on Wednesdays.
“We are also taking donations at the FCSS office – just inside the door so that people don’t have to come in,” she said, referring to the maintaining of social distancing. “They can just open the door and put the donation right inside. They can write the name of who is is that made the donation, and we do give taxable receipts,” she explained.
The ongoing pandemic has altered the way the Food Bank utilizes volunteer help as well.
“Now we have the volunteers spread out through the week so that not everyone is in the same room altogether (on the same day),” she explained. “Right now, we still hand out the hampers on Wednesdays.
“If the need does get higher, we will start handing out more than just one day a week,” she said.
Currently, folks who pick up hampers are also assigned times to drop by for pick-up.
“Right now, people will phone in and leave a message, and on Tuesday afternoons I do the in-takes. On Wednesday mornings they go in and get their hampers,” she said. “And if need be, we will start doing this more often.”
For those coming by the church to pick up a donation, the system is slightly different these days as well.
“Before, they would come into the church, go downstairs, pick up their hamper and go,” she said. “Now, they have to come and show their ID through the glass window. When it’s okay, the volunteers will then put the food out on a table and give them the thumbs-up.
“Then, the people picking up the hamper can open up the front door and get the food from the table so there is no face-to-face contact,” she added.
Coston said that currently, the organization does have enough volunteer help, and they also have a couple more on stand-by should things get busier. “We are very appreciative of our volunteers because they’ve been working really hard, and they’ve also been changing their schedules to come in and work on different days to help make it safer for everyone,” she said.
As to managing in the current climate of dealing with pandemic issues, Coston said it’s about staying on top of safety concerns and adjusting day-to-day.
“We are constantly monitoring and working to help those who are most vulnerable due to COVID-19 and the economic factors that come with it,” she said.
For more information about the Rimbey Food Bank, call 403-843-2030 ext. 2.