BRYAN, Texas — September is Hunger Action Month and food pantries across the Brazos Valley continue to serve the community. The Salvation Army food pantry is just one of many that continue to feed its neighbors during COVID-19.
Every Wednesday beginning at 9 a.m., Salvation Army volunteers are equipped and ready to fill cars with food.
“During the pandemic we kind of had to change how we did our pantry and start doing a drive-by distribution. It used to be that the clients came inside, but we made sure to have a way in which individuals would feel comfortable to come by," said the Salvation Army Bryan-College Station Lieutenant Timothy Israel.
The Salvation Army has seen an increased need for food as people have lost their jobs and children have stayed at home for more meals during the pandemic.
And with the coronavirus still actively present in the community, the nonprofit wants to make sure both staff and clients stay safe and healthy.
“All of our volunteers and staff that are doing distribution are wearing facemasks and we ask the clients to stay in the car and that way they are not interacting with the staff and vice versa. We load directly into the cars and in that way there’s not the interaction of individuals entering the facility or a lot of individuals interacting with one another," said Lieutenant Israel.
When clients come to the food pantry, they receive a month’s worth of groceries. This is possible thanks to local businesses and families who have been donating more food donations to the pantry.
“Sometimes we have to purchase some extra food to help meet the need, so the community has stepped up and helping meet that need," said Lieutenant Israel.
Because the pantry is now a drive-thru, the Salvation Army is in need of more volunteers to distribute and pack the food. Lieutenant Israel says if you cannot volunteer in person, financial donations are always needed to help them purchase the items they need for the pantry.