Every Wednesday and Friday, Second Harvest hosts a drive-thru pantry at the food bank. This way of distributing food was created in response to COVID-19 and is a way to safely give people essential supplies in a contactless manner.
Every week, a long line of cars forms at the food bank. One by one, they pull up to the building with their trunks up, doors open, and truck beds ready to be filled with boxes of food.
On Friday, February 26, it was a cold and dreary day but the National Guard members and SHFB employees there to run the distribution were in jovial moods, laughing and joking with one another. No one seemed daunted by the fact cars were wrapped around the entire block.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, SHFB does not ask for proof of income and no one is turned away. People are simply asked how many households the car is collecting food for, then the car windshield is marked with that number, so we know how much food to give them.
On this day, the food that was handed out consisted of assorted meat (hamburger, turkey, bacon, etc.), milk, onion, potatoes, sliced cheese, chicken drumsticks, fresh produce, yogurt, muffins, bottled water, and dog food.
The employees and National Guard members agreed it was the busiest Friday they had in about two or three weeks. It was a little warmer that day than it had been, meaning people who may not have proper heat in their cars or the ability to drive in snow were able to come.
The pallets of food routinely had to be switched as the boxes were quickly loaded into cars.
Mean while inside, food boxes were being prepared.
It takes a lot of manpower to run a drive-thru pantry. On this day alone, we served 258 clients!
To see our other drive-thru locations and dates, look here.