Baldwinsville, N.Y. (NCC News)- A Syracuse-area church is now running things differently in its food pantry due to COVID-19 Delta variant concerns. Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Church of Baldwinsville has ran a successful food pantry to help out the less fortunate people in the surrounding community for years. Food Bank Director for Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Church Jennifer Guild (GUY-ild) does what she can to feed as many people as needed.
Many come and go from the pantry, as most customers are pleased with their experience. One customer said ” This is a great place!”
Now, with the rise in COVID-19 numbers due to the Delta variant, the church has decided to put measures in place to provide the best safety possible for volunteers as well as customers of the pantry. Some customers are not thrilled with the pandemic-related changes, such as not being able to shop indoors, and the pantry following the new C-D-C mask recommendations. On the other side of the spectrum, the volunteers are worried for their own safety as well. The “honor system” can only work so well, and volunteers want to minimize the contact with others due to the uptick in local virus cases. Due to this, there is now a volunteer shortage.
Guild (GUY-ild) said “They do not want the families to come back in. They are nervous” when talking about the volunteers concerns over completely re-opening the food pantry.
It was in the plans to have the food pantry fully opened by September, in which customers would not need masks, and could shop inside. It is now unsure when they will be able to fully open again because of COVID-19 cases rising again, and having to weigh the opposing concerns of both the customers and volunteers of the food pantry. Guild (GUY-ild) has stated that safety is her top priority in determining when to fully re-open the food pantry.