Our usual method of serving our monthly dinner is a sit-down cafeteria style dinner served in the undercroft of the church. Additionally, we deliver meals to a local housing development that houses elderly and/or disabled individuals. Near the closing of the time allotted for serving the meals, we prepare carry-out trays with the remaining food for those wishing to take an extra meal or two home to family members unable to attend the dinner or for additional meals for themselves.
During the pandemic, we have canceled only two monthly dinners. The first was in March when orders were being disseminated to close everything down. The second was in July when our county was advanced to the 3rd Level (Red) status due to the rapidly increasing cases being identified.
Since we are unable to serve our community inside the church, we are preparing the food and placing it in “to go” containers. We then place two dinners in a bag for each adult or one in a bag for each child. We set up a distribution station per se’ at the entrance of the church, have marked the social distancing spaces on the sidewalk, and wearing our masks, distribute the dinners from that location. We are now distributing 125 to 150 meals each month.
We received notification that a Covid-19 grant was available through ECM which we applied for. We were granted our requested amount of $2,000. To further assist our community during this critical time, we have decided the best way to utilize this funding is to prepare a second free community meal each month. Hopefully we will be able to continue this practice into February/March 2021.
Submitted by Celeste Parsons
Treasurer, Church of the Epiphany – Nelsonville