Helping Hand Food Bank’s home delivery program services shut-ins

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It’s not a new program, but the Home Delivery service offered by Helping Hand Food Bank in Tillsonburg is not one of its better-known programs.

In a year with the COVID-19 pandemic, the food bank has been challenged in finding ways to authenticate its Home Delivery clients.

“We had no parameters on it,” said Helping Hand Food Bank co-ordinator Dianne Clark. “We didn’t have any guidelines.”

After many discussions with Southwestern Public Health, and learning how other food banks make home deliveries, Helping Hand Food Bank determined its Home Delivery program would specifically be available to those seniors considered to be shut-ins.

“They physically cannot get to the food bank for whatever reason,” said Clark. “They are really shut in.”

It was important to maintain social distancing delivering the food – it is not handed directly to the client, but it’s left on the doorstep.

“We set it up so that those who are receiving the deliveries, they know what Wednesday they are going to food. They are divided into two groups. One week, one group gets the food. The next week, the other group gets a delivery, and it rotates. So it’s bi-monthly.”

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Clients are also asked over the phone what they need.

“We’re into our second full month now where we are following the protocol given to us by Southwestern Public Health as far as keeping everybody safe.”

The food bank has a volunteer from the Tillsonburg Alliance Church (Nathaniel) who packs all the food bags, and travels with the driver in the food bank van to make weekly deliveries, which are completed before 12 p.m.

“Nate uses his cell phone to log out the route where they are going,” said Clark.

CRAM THE CRUISER

Oxford County OPP Auxiliary is holding a Cram the Cruiser food drive on Saturday, March 27, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Metro Tillsonburg, 225 Broadway.

You can help families in need – the Helping Hand Food Bank depends on food drives to raise non-perishable food to pair with fresh and frozen food donated by industry partners.

Purchase a specially prepared bag of food in-store, and donate it to the OPP when you leave Metro. The OPP will cram their cruiser as many times as they can between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., and deliver the food to the Helping Hand Food Bank.

cabbott@postmedia.com

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