Community Food Drive Resumes On Saturday
The COVID-19 pandemic closed down not only business, but also the ability to donate, food, books and household goods… As the gradual reopening of commerce begins in Summit County, opportunities to help those less fortunate will reopen as well. The first one is a food drive on Saturday.
For more than a month and a half, the food pantries of the Christian Center of Park City and the St. Mary’s food pantries have been vital to many in our community. Due to coronavirus restrictions though, community drop-offs of food to resupply the pantries was halted. They will resume on Saturday, May 2nd when the Park City Rotary club holds a five-hour contactless food collection at the Outlets Park City.
Rotary member John Hanrahan says the drive will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Rotary volunteers will be staged in the lower parking lot allowing for a one-way travel pattern, much like the hazardous household collection days operate.
“We are going to do this under the guidelines the Summit County Health Department put out,” Hanrahan said. “We're going to maintain social distancing. All our volunteers will have masks and gloves, and eye-protection and it will be a contactless drop off. So, people basically, we hope, they'll put their food in their trunk, drive up, pop the trunk and someone will unload it and they can head off. They don't get out of their car - they don't have any individual, personal contact and will maintain our social distancing. So, we think it will work out really well and we're looking forward to a big turnout.”
The need to replenish he says is in great. Demand is skyrocketing at the same time to they had to close down to individual donations to the food pantries over the last month and a half.
As with the Christian Center’s food pantries, St. Mary's Pastor, Father Christopher Gray, says the St. Mary’s Food bank is also open to all in need. It’s located at the Old Town chapel on upper Park Ave.
“We don't - at all - put any kind of condition on who can receive it but these are people who are very much in need right now and we haven't, as Dr. Hanrahan had mentioned, been able to receive any in-kind donations,” Father Gray said. “It used to be that people would often give us food, to be able to distribute food that was already non-perishable, very well packaged, just like from the store. But in this time, we haven’t been able to receive that. So, we've been stocking our shelves by buying food ourselves and being able to give it out, thanks to the support of our incredible volunteers.”
He says they’re looking for non-perishable goods canned and boxed items…
“Canned and boxed foods are essential,” Gray said. The kinds of foods that go the fastest that are always required – they’re always wanted. Our basics – rice, beans, things that can easily turn into a lot of different kinds of nutritious food.”
There is a request that you leave the canned green beans at home – no one is sure why but guess that there is either an abundance of green beans or people just don’t want them.
Hanrahan says depending on how things go on Saturday, the Rotary Club could organize more food drives in the future
“We’ll see how things go tomorrow,” Hanrahan said. “And I think it could be an ideal event to continue into the future I don't know how often we would do it, but if St. Mary’s and the Christian center are in agreement, we'd love to continue to do this.” And Father Gray added, “I'm certainly so grateful for the assistance. This is a massively important thing that we can give our community.”
Again, the Rotary food drive will be held Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Outlets Park City. Please drive in, stay in your car and leave the food in the trunk of your car. Volunteers will unload all of the items.