COVID-19 Action Steps
With the news of one confirmed case of coronavirus in Kane County on March 10th, 2020, the Marie Wilkinson Food Pantry Board of Directors and Leadership Team is taking preventative measures to continue providing the safest conditions for pantry guests and volunteers.
Collaboration with the Kane County Public Health Department and local healthcare agencies will continue to guide and determine our best course of action.
Marie’s Pantry management and volunteers are committed to maintaining the high frequency of regular sanitation operations currently in effect.
Deep Cleaning ‘High Touch’ Surfaces
Deep cleaning of registration desk, guest waiting room, and food distribution areas occurs each and every time volunteers and guests gather to share food at Marie’s Pantry locations, three times per week.
Disinfecting “high touch surfaces” is the regular protocol for pantry managers and volunteers.
- Shopping Cart Handles
- Lobby Door Handles
- Guest Seats
- Freezer & Refrigerator Door Handles
Additional sanitizing stations have been placed throughout guest and volunteer gathering and workspace areas.
Feeling Sick? Stay Home!
Volunteers and guests are advised to stay home when they are sick, wash their hands frequently with soap and warm water, and cover their coughs and sneezes.
Guests may be asked to remain in their vehicles if they are feeling ill, and have symptoms such as a fever, fatigue, or consistent cough.
Pantry management will continue to rely on health experts to provide guidance going forward, and depending upon the direction, will adapt our approach as necessary.
The safety and security of guests and volunteers has always been the highest priority, and that is why we have always, and will continue to be taking sensible steps to keep facilities clean and guests healthy.
Emergency Escalation Plan
In the event of an escalation of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Aurora, Marie’s Pantry may be modifying their distribution method to maximize the safety of guests and volunteers.
“Pantry managers and volunteers are appropriately prepared for several possible scenarios, and will continue to modify procedures as needed. Remaining calm and focusing on caring for guests and volunteers – not overreacting, but taking responsible steps to prepare for possibilities is the plan.” said Diane Renner, executive director.
The modified distribution plan in case of escalation, would eliminate the need for guests and volunteers to congregate together in waiting areas.
Volunteers would greet guests at their vehicles, and direct traffic into a ‘drive through’ system, where guests would receive pre-packed boxes directly to their vehicles
As low income families and the elderly are high-risk populations, it is important that Marie’s Pantry remain open to ensure that these guests receive maximum nutritional benefit to keep their immune systems strong.
In the event of school closures, or work closures, missed paychecks may lead to guests in fragile economic circumstances not having enough to be able to pay for rent, medications, utilities, gas, and food.
Food Pantries play a critical role in disaster scenarios, be they natural disasters, or the spread of an infectious disease. An increased burden is placed on the network of hunger-relief agencies in times like these.
It is imperative that community health leaders collaborate effectively to be proactive and wise, both in preparation, and in response.