Second Harvest's amazing partners at Hospitality House offer much more than a bed and bread. The house and programs are a place where self-worth is reclaimed, passion is rediscovered, and souls are comforted.
Tina Krause, Executive Director of Hospitality House, located in Boone and serving multiple mountain counties, explains what is happening there in these unchartered days of COVID-19.
“Hospitality House is in a unique position with the operation of a community kitchen, food pantry and 6 housing programs. We are continuing to keep our doors open, with the pantry going completely drive thru with pre-packed boxes or door service for those coming by bus. We are operating with additional staff members who normally work in case management roles and a couple of brave interns who have agreed to stay on, even though the facility is considered more at risk. We are distributing more boxes than usual each day. We will likely have to cut back the portion soon, to meet the demand.
The community kitchen is sustaining well, mostly because local restaurants closed and through an active campaign we received some of the perishable food that they could no longer use. We have switched to all paper products for the safety of those eating here and taking out meals.
Based on the large number of pantry clients this week, we do not think we will be able to assist the school district at this time with food boxes for the elementary school feeding site. We simply cannot spare a staff member at this time to distribute those boxes offsite. We decided instead to create a flyer letting families know that the pantry was still open 7 days a week with mobile drive thru or walk up door pickup for those riding the bus.
People are struggling with the loss of jobs in the area, many when they pull up have multiple food boxes as they continue to stay in place. There is a sense of fear, for those who are living out on their own, that they will have to come back into shelter due to loss of income.
In a call with the health department today, we were told that we need to prepare for the worst, with the congregate living in this facility we are likely to have a full outbreak if one person gets sick. They said they do not have a good answer for how to prevent this. So we pray, prepare and try to provide hope and a smile to each person, as we continue to serve meals, hand out food boxes and provide shelter and counseling.
That's where we are. Thank you for partnering with us, to make sure that we have food to still serve and distribute. Take care and stay safe.”