The Warwick Ecumenical Food Pantry, located at 135 Forester Ave. in the Warwick United Methodist Church, has been closed to allow for development of an operating model designed to keep volunteers and clients safe from exposure to coronavirus.
However, Pantry director Glenn P. Dickes recently announced that the pantry, located at far right side of the church building as you face it from the rear, will re-open on, Monday, April 6.
The hours of operation will be Mondays and Thursdays from 6 to 8 p.m.
Contrary to a previous schedule, the pantry will not operate Tuesday afternoons during the coronavirus emergency.
The Ecumenical Food Pantry is available to residents of the Town of Warwick.
Individuals or families wishing to register to use the pantry need to provide two proofs of residence: driver’s license, non-driver’s ID or similar with Warwick address to establish identity and an item of mail with a recent date and Warwick address to establish residence.
Utility bill, telephone, cable, internet bill, bank or credit card statement, all with recent dates, are good examples.
“Pantry volunteers,” Dickes said, “are trained to be flexible about documentation. They volunteer with the aim of serving families in need.”
Until the current coronavirus social distancing safety requirements are lifted, the pantry will operate on a curb-side pickup model and families will be required to wait in their vehicles.
A volunteer will register or sign in the family and pre-packed bags of groceries, as well as frozen items and produce if available, will be brought to the vehicle.
Family members will load their own bags and pantry volunteers will enforce mandatory distancing.
Dickes added that only volunteers, without exception, will be permitted in the church.
“We look forward,” he said, “to the lifting of restrictions and resumption of our normal client choice self-service shopping model inside the pantry. The temporary method of operation is not a happy one for us.”
The Warwick Ecumenical Food Pantry expects a spike in need in the near future as the economic climate in the United States deteriorates significantly and people are laid off or suffer diminished incomes.
The pantry will be purchasing in bulk and pre-filling bags assembly line style during implementation of safety mandated curb-side pickup. As a result, monetary donations are needed and far preferable to food donations.
Checks may be mailed to the pantry at 135 Forester Avenue, Warwick NY 10990. Donations may also be made online in a secure portal at: www.warwickpantry.com.