Mobilizing help while maintaining social distance
Unity House’s food programs, namely prepared food that used to be served in our free, community dining room, and our food pantry, are still working hard to address food insecurity. But they’ve changed their ways. Instead of choosing foods off of the shelf, guests are asked to make an appointment and use a menu to select what foods they would like food pantry staff to bag up for them. The parcels are then handed off outside the building. This reduces interactions and keeps crowds at bay. For meals, same process: people or families grab-and-go.
Kudos to the Unity House staff who have been able to adapt to shifty circumstances. Bravo to our consumers, many of whom are already living with difficult challenges, for their willingness to adapt and make do.
The fact remains that it’s a tremendous amount of manpower needed to meet the needs of the food insecure households, many of which involve children or the elderly, in our community. For this reason, Unity House is calling on volunteers. Do you have college students home early who might be able to help deliver food? If so, please consider having them reach out to Unity House’s Volunteer Desk at (518) 274-2607 about volunteering, or email Volunteer@UnityHouseNY.org
Why You Are Needed
The Unity House food pantry has always been unique in that it is open every weekday, with many hours providing opportunities to visit. Other pantries may have offered limited hours or limited offerings. Many pantries are staffed entirely by volunteers, some of whom are older retirees. For this reason, the number of pantries with open doors has been curtailed by the strict social distancing guidelines that the coronavirus demands.
How you can help
If you can, make a gift to Unity House food programs. Your funds can help us by food for pennies on the dollar through our sources in the food security world.
Consider volunteering. Do you have time to help at our site at 2431 6th Avenue in Troy?
Donate non-perishable food for our pantry or kitchen. Our programs can also use gift cards, diapers, or personal care items.