By Marci Creps
Pantry 279 has announced plans to move to a drive-through style pantry over concerns with COVID-19.
The pantry will remain open during normal hours, which are 4 to 6 p.m. Monday and Wednesday and 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday. However, patrons are being asked to drive around the right side of the building and stop outside the pantry door in the rear, which is normally the pantry’s front door.
Patrons are asked to stay in their car while a volunteer will come out with a checklist and basically “take your order.”
After ordering, patrons will be directed to park near the big door and wait for items to be packed and brought to the car. Patrons are asked to have their trunk or hatch open so volunteers can put the food directly in the car.
The pantry plans to give more food than typically distributed in an effort to help patrons stock up in case a quarantine should be enacted.
Cindy Chavez of Pantry 279 said people are getting worried about food.
“Most can’t afford to go out and binge shop, and the pantries remaining open will be hit hard,” she said in a text. “And people who normally don’t come to food pantries have been calling, asking the rules and procedures in case their job shuts down for a couple of weeks or more.”
At this time, the pantry is doing OK, she said. She said it was short a few things, but the Hoosier Hills Food Bank has been supportive. Chavez said the pantry has been in discussions with HHFB about trucks coming in. “Right now, it’s a day to day thing,” she said.
Items currently needed at the pantry include ramen, side-type dishes, tuna, spaghetti-type things, canned beans, canned vegetables that aren’t corn or green beans, baby formula, diapers, wipes, feminine supplies and soap.
The pantry is at 501 E. Temperance St. in Ellettsville at Trinity Lutheran Church.