LUSK – Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies brought its mobile food bank to the Niobrara County High School on June 20 for a COVID-19 Response Pantry.
The distribution process was slightly different from prior events due to social distancing guidelines implemented to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. In drive-thru fashion, families remained in their cars while a volunteer signed them in through rolled down windows and additional volunteers stocked their cars with boxes and bags of various fresh, frozen and dried foods.
Though there was no physical contact between volunteers and recipients, there was no shortage of camaraderie and chatter, which was the hope of Wyoming Programs Manager Myriam Wolcott.
“Each car takes less than a minute to be loaded up, so we want to make sure we still engage with the recipient,” Wolcott said. “We want to make sure we are seeing the human faces behind the driver and the family.”
The drive-thru model is one Wolcott plans to keep even once the thread of COVID-19 subsides. Its efficiency allows more families to receive more food faster than they would otherwise, she said.
Approximately 15 volunteers gathered to help distribute food to roughly 300 families on June 20, according to Wolcott, who said the coronavirus and its economic toll likely brought more families than usual.
“We have people who are in line that have never been in line before, it’s brand new,” Wolcott said. “They have lost a job, and they never thought they would need to go get food, so we need to be really mindful of that. There’s no judgement. Anyone who is in line is entitled to food as long as we have some to push out. It doesn’t matter if they are from another county, it doesn’t matter to me.”
Anyone interested in donating time, food or funds to Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies can visit WyomingFoodBank.org.