The Mauston Food Pantry is continuing to serve those who need help during the coronavirus outbreak.
According to Kathy Green, Mauston Food pantry director, the pantry will remain open during the outbreak to assist families who qualify for assistance.
“We will be remaining open as long as the grocery stores are open, as we are also considered essential,” Green said. “We have plenty of food, the government is making sure we will not run out… We will remain calm and helpful to everyone. We will be open, don’t panic.”
The pantry is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9:30-11 a.m. Green said those wishing assistance still need to bring photo identification and current mail. Families are able to receive assistance once a month.
Green said the pantry is taking precautions to ensure the safety of staffers and those the pantry is assisting. Prior to 8:45 a.m. on days the pantry is open, no one is allowed in the parking lot other than staff.
“Do not come and sit in the parking lot,” Green said. “If you are there when our staff arrives, you will need to leave and come back another day to be served.”
To keep everyone safe, the pantry and staff are enforcing social distancing practices. People in need of assistance should remain in their vehicles, where they will be given a number. Once the number is called, one person from the family is permitted inside the pantry. The pantry will provide food in their own containers, and asked that guests not bring their own bags or boxes.
“Please, if you are in a high-risk group, send someone else in to get your food,” Green said. “You may not come in if you are sick in any way.”
Green said those who wish to wear their own gloves and masks may do so, though the pantry does not have extra to provide. Those who wish to have a proxy collect their food may set one up by calling Green at 608-847-5454 and signing a permission slip.
During the outbreak, the pantry is requesting that people do not drop off food, but instead make monetary donations.
“If you are considering dropping off a food donation to the pantry, please don’t,” Green said. “We need space to quarantine donated food for a week, and we don’t have space for extra vehicles. We are limiting our volunteer contact.”
To make a monetary donation, send the donation to PO Box 433, Mauston or make a donation inside Festival Foods at the checkout.
“They have an account for us and money donations go directly into it and we can order what we need,” Green said.
Volunteers can assist by unloading trucks, sorting food, stocking food, and by working the food line to distribute food.
“Please don’t just show up to help,” Green said. “We are keeping social distancing even with all our volunteers.”
To volunteer or for questions, call Green at 608-847-5454.
Reach Christopher Jardine on Twitter @ChrisJJardine or contact him at 608-432-6591.
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