ACS Food Pantries Continue Operations

May 5, 2020
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Update – April 16, 2020

  1. New York Conference has six ACS food pantries. Dexterville Community Services in Easton had been open for food, clothing, and furniture for several years. As a result of the current situation in the community, they have postponed the clothing/furniture operations temporarily and are busy packing food boxes. They are expanding by providing meals for children who are not receiving food from their local schools. Westvale Community Services had its highest request for food in March, and the requests continue to surge. They are now trying to serve anyone seeking help, not just those who are regular customers. Natural Bridge is currently providing bagged breakfast and lunch meals to children seven days a week. This is in addition to the normal food distribution.
  2. Indiana Conference has nine ACS food pantries. The Ellettsville SDA Church ACS ministry has a drive-through system where cars line up and wait to pick up food while volunteers take down their names. In addition to packing food boxes for pick up, volunteers put together boxes of produce for delivery to the community. A new handwashing station has been installed for volunteers before they enter the pantry.
  3. Dakota Conference is a small conference with about 1.5 million citizens and fairly small churches. However, their four ACS food pantries are engaged with their communities. Watertown SDA Church and Rapid City SDA Church purchase food from the Feeding South Dakota Food Bank. In March, Waterford placed an order for 7,000 lbs. of food for the community.
  4. Rocky Mountain Conference has nine food pantries which are functioning well. They serve a variety of clients in culture, location, and economical needs. The Western Slope area of Colorado and Wyoming have been severely hit with the shutdown affecting the gas and oil field jobs. The Colorado Springs Center has two on-going activities. Arlene Batchelder directs the team that serves clients every Monday, and on the first and third Sabbath afternoons of each month. The second activity is feeding of the homeless that is directed by Jones Tuufuli. Canon City Center in Fremont County serves a very unique clientele – convicted felons. More than half of the jobs in this county stem from the correctional industry which directly impacts the volume of the clients because families want to be near their dear ones to visit as often as possible. Tina Persall and her volunteers are providing great service from their small center.
  5. Upper Columbia Conference has 16 ACS food pantries. The Spokane Better Living Center is open twice a week and serves around 1,200 family members a month. Pasco Riverview serves meals to 1,600 individuals monthly in the Tri-Cities metropolitan area. Besides a food pantry, they also have a thrift store and a diaper bank. Yakima 35th Avenue serves 1,200 individuals a month, and Deary serves 55 families monthly. Walla Walla University’s Eden’s Pantry is fairly new, but is serving over 40 families a month. When school is in session, they serve around 250 students.
  6. Arizona Conference has eight ACS food pantries. Their newest center, Kingman has been up and running for over a year and has already become a local institution. Their staff comprises of 15 – 20 plus volunteers who serve over 200 people per week. Recently, they have transferred their services to a drive-in food bank. Camp Verde Center is another ACS facility in Arizona which has transitioned to a drive-in food bank. It is one of the few food banks in the region that attracts over 35 volunteers from the community to serve around 350 people per week. Upon transition, Sue Kennedy, the Director of the Center, recruited the local sheriff department to help with traffic, and the City Manager came out to encourage the volunteers as well. Volunteers use safety measures and PPE, and also have been instructed on the CDC protocols.
  7. Florida Conference has 60 ACS food pantries within the State. The Hacer Ministry located in West Palm Beach, is following strict guidelines for food distribution. All personnel wear gloves and masks, and there is plenty of hand sanitizer available on site. They have a drive-through set up where the recipients do not have to get out of the car, and the food is placed in the trunk of the car by personnel. Social distancing is maintained at all times to prevent contamination. All the food that is distributed are canned or in bags. Two other ACS food pantries that have been actively serving their church members and community are the Brazilian Temple SDA Church in Oakland Park, and Forest City Spanish SDA Church in Orlando.
  8. Kentucky-Tennessee Conference has twelve ACS food pantries. The Woodbury ACS has been serving their community for the past thirteen years. Each week they provide 4,000-5,000 pounds of food to 35-50 of the 120 families who frequently come to the center. The Manchester ACS is adjacent to the AdventHealth Manchester Hospital located in the Appalachian Mountains of Eastern Kentucky. Each week, they provide 3,500-4,000 pounds of food to families who come looking for assistance. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of those needing food for their families has significantly increased.
  9. Arkansas-Louisiana Conference has 15 ACS food pantries that all operate out of their church building. The Hammond SDA Church is a small congregation that is distributing food to low-income families in the area. Clarksville SDA Church serves 1,000 families every two weeks.

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