Keeping residents fed during the COVID-19 health crisis
With the onset of the coronavirus health crisis, known as COVID-19, the vulnerable populations in our communities may be severely impacted by lost employment, social distancing, or reduced access to food and other necessities. Luckily, many organizations are aware of these needs, and are imploring residents to consider others during this time of uncertainty.
Local social service agency, Volunteers Enlisted to Assists People, or VEAP, knows that its clients will be hard hit by the coronavirus crisis. They are taking proactive steps to continue safely serving those in need, as well as to harness the outpouring of goodwill among the community.
VEAP is currently encouraging residents to donate excess shelf-stable food products, toilet paper or cleaning supplies. They are also actively looking for younger volunteers, who may be less at risk of contracting COVID-19.
In the coming weeks, VEAP will modify their food distribution services to allow for social distancing at their service center located at 9600 Aldrich Avenue in Bloomington. Beginning on March 23, the organization will allow for drive-up food distribution. While the agency will be closed to the public through April 6, their staff will still be available for call-ahead appointments.
VEAP also offers food delivery to seniors, those with disabilities, or those without access to transportation. For more information on food pantry services, call VEAP at (952) 888-9616
In addition to VEAP, the Richfield Public Schools are working hard to ensure all children in Richfield continue to be provided with nutritious food, regardless of their school enrollment. Grab-and-go meals are being offered at all school locations in Richfield from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and also distributed along school bus routes during the day. More information at richfieldschools.org
“The outpouring of support that our community has shown during this coronavirus health crisis has been inspiring,” said Richfield Mayor Maria Regan Gonzalez. “I want to encourage anyone that has sufficient household supplies and food to consider donating to some of our local partners. Unfortunately not all of our residents have been able to stock up on supplies, and we know many are still struggling to feed themselves and their families.”
Restaurants, who are currently limited to take-out or delivery-only service, are also able to donate prepared foods to those in need, via mealconnect.org. This technology platform facilitates fast and easy connections between donors and local food banks. More information about proper food preparation and storage for donation here.