Coronavirus: Foodbank opens drive-thru, won’t take food donations

Bottled water is being distributed at The Foodbank in Dayton on Armor Place after the Memorial Day tornadoes. JIM NOELKER / STAFF
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Bottled water is being distributed at The Foodbank in Dayton on Armor Place after the Memorial Day tornadoes. JIM NOELKER / STAFF

The Foodbank Inc. has opened a drive-thru pantry for customers who need it during the coronavirus outbreak.

The organization is also not accepting food donations from the public for the time being, but is seeking cash donations.

Chief Development Officer for the Foodbank, Lee Lauren Truesdale, said starting immediately every Monday, Wednesday and Friday the Foodbank will operate a drive-thru pantry at its warehouse, 56 Armor Place in Dayton, from 1 to 3 p.m.

“Families in need can come as often as they need and folks who have to stay home from work are encouraged to come if they think they’re going to struggle to make ends meet,” Truesdale said.

The Foodbank received a $128,ooo grant from CareSource to provide food to seniors.

“We especially want to provide for seniors so they don’t have to leave home, because they are the most at risk to complications from the coronavirus,” Truesdale said.

RELATED: CareSource donates $128K to provide food to seniors at risk of coronavirus exposure

The Foodbank offers a Commodity Supplemental Food Program, which serves a group of certain low-income seniors, Truesdale said. In light of the coronavirus, the Foodbank will have additional food boxes going out to those seniors.

Any senior who is already part of that program should have gotten a call from the Foodbank telling them how to pick up that box, Truesdale said.

Anyone interested in volunteering to pack the senior boxes, should message the Foodbank's Facebook page.

The Foodbank will not take any outside food donations from the public in an effort to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

“We encourage folks who have the financial means and want to help to make a cash donation,” Truesdale said. “We’re trying to keep as many people out of the building, which is why we’re running the drive-thru.”

Monetary donations can be made at the Food Bank's website.

Those donations will be important as the coronavirus situation changes and evolves into the near future, Truesdale said.

“We don’t know what this is going to look like in April,” she said.

In addition to volunteering and donating, Truesdale said the biggest thing Daytonians can do is to check in on their neighbors.

“Sometimes when disasters happen, we think big instead of looking next door,” Truesdale said. “Checking in on nearby seniors, people who kids who are home from school now, offering to provide free childcare for family or friends who are working … just little things like that can really go a long way.

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She encouraged families who need the Foodbank to take advantage of its services. “Sometimes people don’t want to take advantage of charitable food assistance because they don’t think they qualify, but I just want to clarify that if you think you’re going to struggle to make ends meet (because you now have to stay home from work) and you need some food assistance so you can pay your gas bill or your car bill, this is the time to come and see us,” Truesdale said.

The Foodbank started using the drive-thru right before the Memorial Day tornadoes last year. When food pantries have to shut down during emergencies, like the tornadoes or the coronavirus pandemic, the Foodbank can open the drive-thru.

“We’re trying to limit the human-to-human contact, so my team is out here walking the line and signing people in for food assistance and we’re an arm’s length away from them on the tablets,” Truesdale said. “So it’s really a safe way to access charitable food assistance and it limits the exposure of person to person touch.”