As the COVID-19 pandemic drags on, meals from food pantries are still in serious demand.
Since March, Mid City Nutrition served 9,828 more meals than it had over the same period last year — an increase of about 29 percent, director Alice Rieves said.
And it is coming at a higher cost. For example, it costs about $66 per day for the takeout containers used to distribute all meals in since the beginning of the COVID-10 pandemic.The $66 in containers can serve an average of 120 lunches plus 100 dinners each day, Rieves said.
“And that’s before we put a bite of food in them,” Rieves said.
So Mid-City Nutrition is seeking donations of takeout containers from the public. They need three-compartment Styrofoam containers, individually wrapped disposable utensils, individual packets of condiments and 12-pound paper bags.
The organization also needs volunteers, which have dropped off dramatically since the start of the pandemic, Rieves said.
Read more: Milkhouse Café donates over $16,000 in tips to Port Huron nonprofit Mid City Nutrition
“For various reasons, we’ve lost a lot of our regular volunteers,” Rieves said. “If you have a group that’s looking to volunteer one morning or one afternoon a week, please give us a call.”
Since the start of the pandemic, the kitchen has prepared and packaged its meals in its kitchen then distributed them outdoors to those who line up. Only volunteers, staff and occasionally donors are allowed inside, and are asked questions about COVID-19 symptoms or risks before entering. Masks are required to collect a meal, but Mid-City Nutrition will provide a mask for those who need it.
Mid-City Nutrition serves meals between 11 a.m. and noon Monday through Saturday, and 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday through Friday. It is located at 805 Chestnut St., Port Huron. Anyone looking for more information, to volunteer or donate can call (810) 982-9535 or visit midcitynutritionsoupkitchen.com.
SOS Marysville Food Pantry is also serving people through the pandemic. It is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday. Face masks are required and people should call for an appointment. The organization can be reached at (810) 364-6333 or on Facebook at https://bit.ly/31KusoW
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Contact Jeremy Ervin at (810) 989-6273 or firstname.lastname@example.org.Follow him on Twitter @ErvinJeremy.