As we all navigate how to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, BCOC is focused on feeding Bucks residents in need. Our staff and volunteers in the network of food pantries have been modifying how we distribute food safely. The Lester Barht Food Pantry at United Methodist Church Fairless Hills recently opened up the drive-thru pantry, and shared with us the following account. For pantry locations and hours, visit https://www.bcoc.org/i-need-help-with/food-2/food-pantries-and-hours
“Our drive thru pantry opened today!… The fear of the virus was evident when Michael showed up. He is a regular customer and he is deaf. He wore gloves today and seemed to tremble.The unfamiliar set up seemed to throw him off. Michael usually reads lips well. We know to look at him when we talk, and we never have difficulty communicating with him. However, today he could not understand us. He could not read my lips. Something was different! But thankfully Dan was there! Dan was able to help make choices for Michael based on the friendly relationship they always share every month at the pantry. So we took care of Michael with kind consideration.
I took an order for two customers sharing a ride. After taking their order I instructed them to wait until their food came out before proceeding to the pick up station. They turned the car off while they waited. But when it was time to move, the car would not restart. They had run out of gas. But thankfully Brian was there! He grabbed a gas can from our shed and began syphoning (sic) gas from our lawnmower.. It took three fill ups of the can before he got enough gas for the jeep to eventually start!
Two times I spotted a person walking near the edge of our lot by the woods. When she finally approached me I recognized her as a pantry customer. Right away she fell to her knees in tears exclaiming, “I got put out yesterday!” The customer had lived across the street from the church with two other pantry patrons. She explained that she and the other customer were both tossed out into the streets by the third. The two of them stayed together in the woods last night but now she could not find him and was frantic and feeling even more helpless and alone. The volunteers rallied together to fix a special bag of food that can suffice under those conditions. I dialed 211 to find out how to find shelter for them but before I got an answer she walked back into the woods and did not resurface.
A woman drove up. When I asked, “how many in the house?”, she explained that she is currently caring for her five grandchildren because two of her daughters are nurses and currently working on the front lines in the war against the spread of the virus. One elderly woman said she felt so isolated, another happy to see our efforts at safety. She had been to another pantry but would not go in because they had not taken implemented any precautions.
All in all we served 23 customers (on the first day). I must say that today was a bit unusual. But God is good! And… God still calls us to be the church! Thanks again to all our wonderful volunteers who ran inside and out on this wet and dreary day to care for those in need!
Prayerfully with love,