Good Cheer Food Bank has made temporary changes to our shopping process to maintain safe social distancing while still serving our community.
The Food Bank is currently OPEN with reduced days and hours: Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Note: If these reduced hours means someone can no longer access the Food Bank during open hours, they can call 360-221-4868 to arrange for home delivery .
Good Cheer’s staff and volunteers are currently serving as personal shoppers; Food Bank customers check off what they need from a pre-printed shopping list and then staff select and pack each customer’s groceries while customers wait outside in a covered waiting area or their car.
“The logistics of organizing a small space with multiple points of traffic flow while maintaining the safe distance of 6 feet of space between all persons was challenging and required thinking outside the box,” according to Good Cheer Executive Director Carol Squire. “With some quick furniture rearranging and adjusting internal traffic flow, four staff are able to simultaneously serve Food Bank customers while maintaining personal space,” she added.
The Food Bank’s entry is now cordoned off with signage announcing the new safety protocol. There is a table 6 feet in front of the door with a blue line for customers to stand behind while staff speak to them from the door.
One of the staff is stationed inside the front door to greet customers when they approach and step out to begin the check-in process.
After intake staff determine available shopping points, customers are asked to step back from the table before staff step forward to place a sanitized clipboard and shopping list on the table for the customer to pick up and fill out.
When the completed shopping list is placed on the table and the customer steps back, a staff member retrieves the clipboard. A personal shopper then fills the customer’s order, accommodating special requests whenever possible. The order is then bagged and taken out to the table for the customer to pick up after staff has stepped back inside.
“While this system is a significant change from our normal way of doing things, response has been overwhelmingly positive. Our Food Bank community has been incredibly understanding and willing to cooperate to keep our larger community safe,” Squire said.
“We extend a heartfelt thank-you to the South Whidbey community that continues to support us throughout these unprecedented times. Daily, we have been receiving calls with offers of assistance and generous donations of money and sought-after necessities,” Squire added.
“Good Cheer’s team of staff, volunteers and Board of Directors is determined to keep the Food Bank open, no matter what. We are proud to be working with organizations and individuals that are proactively collaborating to ensure that no one goes hungry on South Whidbey,” Squire added.