The state shut down on March 13. People were suddenly out of work, and still in need of food and everyday items. One local organization is working hard to help those in need have food and other essential items, all while reducing the spread of the novel COVID19 virus.
Tabitha’s Way is a food pantry based out of Utah County that provides food, essential items and services to those in need. And according to food pantry manager, Becky Robinson, the virus has made it a challenge.
“We get a lot of our items from local grocery stores through what we call, Grocery Rescue,” she said. “Six days a week, we have a truck that goes to 10 different stores to pick up excess foods that aren’t selling. Things like bread, cookies, cakes, frozen meat, and canned goods. There was about a two to three week period when the grocery shelves were empty, and we weren’t getting a lot of things. That really hurt our ability to give to families in need.”
Robinson said that even with fewer items available, there have been more families in need. She said it has been difficult at times to be able to keep up with the demand.
“We can only give what we have, and it has been hard to send some individuals and families home without some things that they were in need of,” Robinson said.
Even so, Robinson said that the pantry isn’t turning anyone away.
“If you’re here, then you have a need, and we want to help you,” she said. “Things are getting better every day, and we are seeing more things come in that we can give to people.”
The food pantry that has a location in both American Fork and Spanish Fork serves clients from all over the valley. Clients with a valid ID will be able to receive two weeks’ worth of groceries two times per month.
Those without ID will also be able to receive several days’ worth of food to get them by. Robinson said that the food passed on to its clients must go through a three to five-day quarantine prior to being distributed. Food drives are also not happening right now to reduce the touches.
“We have had to make a lot of changes to ensure that our clients and the public are safe at this time,” Robinson said. “We have limited our volunteers to 10 at a time, and we bring the items directly to your car.”
Robinson said that items like face masks and non-latex gloves are things volunteers are in need of at this time as well. Other items the organization is in need of are staples like rice, beans, pastas, and canned goods, particularly soups and meat. Tabitha’s Way also helps its clients with toiletries, feminine hygiene products and diapers, and urges the public to donate these items if the ability presents itself.
“Our clients need the same things you or I are in need of,” Robinson said. “If it is in good condition, and you can donate it, then bring it by or give us a call. Chances are, we will find a family who needs it.”
For more information on Tabitha’s Way, including pick-up and drop-off locations, volunteer sign ups and more, go to tabithasway.org. (Brown is a Serve Daily contributor.)