Parish Food Pantry Best Practices

As a response to the Coronavirus (COVID 19), the Office of Social Concerns encourages all parishes and parish schools who are assisting community and parishioners facing food insecurity to apply for a grant ranging from $500-$5000.  You can access this form here.

In addition, in collaboration with Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, a list of best practices for giving and receiving items for donation at food pantries has been compiled.  Please read over this list to ensure we are keeping one another safe and abiding by all health guidelines.

Best Practices for Parish Food Pantries

We know that many of our parish food pantries are experiencing an increased demand during this time. It is important that our parishes continue this vital charitable work. To ensure that best practices for social distancing are being implemented to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19, we have developed a checklist for processing drop off donations and distribution of goods.

Parishes must follow all local, state and federal guidelines for gatherings during COVID-19.

    Drop Off of Donations

  • Parish food banks must ensure that staff and volunteers are not displaying symptoms (fever, coughing, etc.)
  • One suggestion is to have a volunteer hold a sign stating: “Food donations can ONLY be accepted if they are placed in the trunk for a volunteer to receive.”
  • PPE must be worn for the protection of all (face masks, gloves, etc.)
  • People dropping off items must not leave their car, must keep their windows rolled up, and must have items in their trunk for the ease of the volunteers
  • Social distancing must be practiced (6 feet between volunteers)

Distribution of Goods

Should follow similar standards of safety measures as drop off of donations, including:

  • Parish food banks must ensure that staff and volunteers are not displaying symptoms (fever, coughing, etc.)
  • PPE must be worn for the protection of all (face masks, gloves, etc.)

For parishes that have the ability to do a drive up food distribution:

  • People picking up food must not leave their car, must keep their windows rolled up, and must have items placed in their trunk for the ease of the volunteers

For parishes that have a walk in pantry and cannot do a drive through food distribution:

Social distancing must be practiced (6 feet between volunteers and clients), limited number of clients in the pantry at a time and face masks must be worn at all times.

 

Questions? Contact the Archdiocese of Washington’s Director of the Office for Social Concerns, Genevieve Mougey at [email protected].