As a public service, Morris Hospital & Shaw Media have partnered to provide open access to information related to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) emergency. Sign up for the newsletter here
Volunteers from We Care of Grundy County handed out more than 11,400 pounds of food on March 19 during their distribution.
The organization, which provides a food pantry and clothing for those in need in Grundy County, will spend the next several days restocking, repacking, and preparing for the next influx on clients.
We Care has scheduled its next food distribution for Friday, March 27, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. at their building at 530 Bedford Rd. in Morris.
"Please remember, grocery stores are not closed. If you are able to go to the grocery store and have the ability to purchase your food, please do so. We want to make sure that those most in need are getting sustainable food," the organization posted to social media. "When you come to We Care for the Drive Thru Food Distribution, please come with your car as empty as possible, and we prefer that only one member of the family comes if possible. We have the food in boxes that need to fit into your car or trunk."
At the start of the week, We Care began distributing food boxes as a drive through service, eliminating client access to the community food pantry's building.
Volunteers and staff are being positioned at the garage at the back of the building during distribution hours and are loading the cars of clients with food in pre-packed boxes.
Volunteers and staff will be issued appropriate personal protective equipment to help minimize the spread of potential illness.
We Care Executive Director Eric Fisher said volunteers would pre-pack and bring items to cars, eliminating the need for people to get out of their cars or physically interact with workers.
Those utilizing We Care of Grundy County are asked to pull into the back parking lot off of Michael Drive and follow directions to loop around to the garage door. Cars will enter and wait in single file as volunteers load their food.
Anyone who needs emergency assistance can still contact We Care of Grundy County at 815-942-6389, ext. 3. Fisher asked clients to please leave a clear message that includes their name and phone number if they connect to voicemail. The building will remain closed to the public until further notice.
Fisher said for the time being, the organization has stopped accepting donations and instead is working on providing what they can while they can.
"As of right now, we are only taking deliveries from the Northern Illinois Food Bank in order to combat any potential contamination," Fisher said, adding that folks who want to help can do so with monetary donations.
"People can donate on our website at www.wecareofgrundy.com/how-can-you-help. Financial donations are essential right now. We are purchasing boxes to prepackage food distribution."
Some fresh food items and bread will not available at this time, nor are clothing items.
Updates will be added to the We Care of Grundy County Facebook page.