June 5, 2021 — As state mandated restrictions are lessened on businesses and nonprofits, local foodbank Florence Food Share has reopened to serve those in need of nutritional support. There has been food available at the pantry during the pandemic but the opportunity to enter the facility and for volunteers to assist clients has been severely limited.
Florence Food Share Executive Director Colin Morgan said he believes the resumption of more normal services will be well received by the people he and his staff serve in the community.
“For the past year, the public has not been able to enter the building, but was still able to receive food with the help of volunteers shopping the pantry for them,” Morgan said. “Clients will now once again be able to shop the shelves for themselves with the help of a volunteer. We will continue to follow all safety guidelines and ask clients to please wear a mask when entering the building.”
One of the most appreciated aspects of the food support program at Florence Food Share is the opportunity to offer fresh vegetables to clients. This option was severely limited last year as there were restrictions on volunteer activities and a reluctance in volunteers to assist when the danger of infection was high. That is no longer the case, and there is an explosion of onions, peas, lettuce and other vegetables on the near horizon which soon will be added to the possible food options for clients.
The Food Share Garden, coordinated by Board Vice President Bart Mealer, has stepped up food production during the COVID-19 pandemic by increasing the amount of produce grown and distributed by 2,000 pounds, producing more than 12,000 pounds during 2020.
“The past year was incredibly difficult for so many people in many ways,” Morgan said. “If you or anyone you know is experiencing food insecurity, please come and use our services. I also want to thank our clients for being so patient and understanding for the changes we had to make during this time, and we look forward to seeing you in our pantry!”
Florence Food Share is located behind Grocery Outlet, at the north side of the Lutheran church parking lot. The nonprofit is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.; on Monday and Wednesday from 4 to 6 p.m.; and every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.