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Feeding the Most Vulnerable with Humanity

During this anxious time, I want to relay how we are addressing the challenges of the coronavirus, speak to the issues we are seeing, and identify how you can help. Feeding Hands is known for its high touch, transformational approach, but best practices require we put our high touch approach on hold for the benefit of those we serve and the many hands who serve with us.

Current Changes We have increased sanitizing procedures in our facilities for both people and surfaces. We have reduced contact points and the amount of time spent within our walls through the streamlining our processes. We have also enforced increased spacing between people throughout our facilities. We have implemented a personal shopper program to select food and deliver it to the car of guests who are sick or at higher risk, minimizing exposure for those such as the cancer patient who arrived for food for the first time yesterday. Volunteers have been instructed to stay home if they are sick or have contact with anyone who is exposed. They can also feel free to remain at home if they feel anxiety over their own health issues and possible exposure. Our guests have been appreciative of the changes we have made noting they are comforted by our actions.

This Tuesday We Move Further Out of the Box We have created a plan to enable us to distribute food in a drive through format. This will allow us to feed people with virtually no close contact keeping volunteers, guests and our community at a lower risk of exposure and spread and still keep food flowing to those in need.

Empathize with the Plight of Our Guests As the country reacts with a heavy dose of fear and anxiety, everyone is trying to control what they can. For our guests, stress and anxiety can be multiplied since they have fewer things within their control. Their “normal” means they are starting from a very difficult position. Our guest population has a higher incidence of underlying health conditions than in the general population, compounded by decreased access to our healthcare system and more confined living quarters. Additionally, they do not have financial reserves to go out and purchase the basics such as cleaners, toilet paper, prescriptions, and food stocks as so many in the general population are doing to gain some sort of control. Most of those who are employed are working hourly in jobs that will quickly disappear as the populace hunkers down in their homes, which will only exacerbate their financial issues, their stress levels and, therefore, their health. It will also bring many more vulnerable households to our door for help.

NOT Uncharted Territory-A Vision of What We are To Do! We recognize ultimately God is in control and will use all for good. We are not in uncharted territory.

During the reign of Marcus Aurelius around AD165, an epidemic…killed between a third and a fourth of the population. A little less than a century later, came a second epidemic…But there was, in that world, a community who remembered they followed a man who would touch lepers while they were unclean… The idea “the least of these” were to be treasured—was essentially a Copernican revolution of humanity. It created a new vision of the human being.

People actually took Jesus at his word. As Christian communities responded to the hungry and the sick, even outsiders took notice… An opponent of the faith, Emperor Julian the Apostate chastened pagan priests for not keeping up: “I think when the poor happened to be neglected and overlooked… [Christians] observed this and devoted themselves to benevolence… [providing] support not only for their poor, but ours as well, everyone can see our people lack aid from us.” From Who is this Man? by John Ortberg

How Will We Step Up Today? We have made our plans. Now we hope you will too. We all need to step into a new revolution in humanity that can have lasting impact. Your direct financial support in the face of the unknown demand and possible disruption of our food supplies would provide some degree of flexibility and agility in our response, allowing us to focus on the work at hand rather than wonder if the resources will be there. Your fervent prayer for the safety and peace of mind of our guests, volunteers, organization, and community are also much needed and much appreciated. We are looking at a way to keep a current list of specific needs to fill gaps in our supplies and volunteers so please watch for our future communications.

We truly appreciate your partnership in addressing the needs within our community. It is a blessing to know we are standing “hand-in-hand” with so many amazing people to feed and care for those living on the edge. We are praying for your health and peace of mind.

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