St. Vincent de Paul food pantry adjusts to continue serving public during outbreak
By Hub City Times staff
MARSHFIELD – The St. Vincent de Paul food pantry is working to continue serving the public during the COVID-19 outbreak.
“We are working very hard here at St. Vincent de Paul to change around our entire pantry so that we can stay open to the public so that in this time of crisis and uncertainty that individuals in the community do not need to stress about lack of food,” said Trisha Hebert, director of outreach.
“Our pantry only consists of five employees in total, so we rely on all of our amazing volunteers on a daily basis; however, a large majority of our volunteers are considered to be in the higher risk group for COVID-19 and we do not want them to risk their health, so we have asked for them to stay home during this time, although we do miss them very much.”
With the St. Vincent de Paul store closed, as it is not considered an essential business, and that freed some staff to assist in the food pantry.
“We have given some of our store employees the opportunity to be trained in the pantry to help fill the volunteer roles,” Hebert explained. “Since we are on the front lines, those of us working need to anticipate the possibility of becoming ill, so we have split our staff into two completely separate schedule rotations of one week on and one week off, so that we are not coming in contact with one another and if one team ends up sick we have the other team that should be able to keep the pantry going.
“We have also limited those who come into the pantry to employees only. We have prepackaged all of the allotments of food based on family size; this helps the flow become a much faster process, even faster than before the COVID-19 virus.”
Hebert said that the streamlining shortened wait times to about five minutes.
The pantry serves all north Wood County residents, including: Marshfield, Pittsville, Milladore, Arpin, and Auburndale.
Hebert said that the pantry is able to use weekly income as an “acceptable measure” during the outbreak.
“This enables immediate access to food when abrupt wage or job loss occurs,” she said. “Income must be at or below 185 percent of the federal poverty level.”
A family of one, with the poverty level at $12,760, must be at or below $23,606; a family of three, with the poverty level at $21,720, must be at or below $40,182.
An ID is required for the individual picking up the food for the household.
Pantry hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.
The pantry is also continuing their ‘To Go’ meals, Monday and Wednesday evenings, 5-6 p.m.
“We realize that this is a difficult time for everyone and we would love nothing more than to be able to help serve everyone struggling during this time,” Hebert said.
The food pantry is located at 169 N Central Ave., Marshfield.