The Holy Deliverance Apostolic Temple food pantry has been in operation since 2005. The food pantry opened up because of the church’s desire to help the Newburgh community.
Unlike others, the Holy Deliverance Apostolic Temple food pantry is still open and offering food to the community under the current novel coronavirus [COVID-19] pandemic.
The pantry is open every other Wednesday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Right now, it’s in desperate need of face masks.
“We’re doing the best we can,” said Judith Taylor-Johnson, coordinator for the Holy Deliverance Apostolic Temple food pantry.
Since the pandemic first broke out, procedure has been changed for the pantry. For newcomers to the pantry, there would typically be paperwork for them to fill out. To reduce contamination, paperwork is no longer needed.
The pantry receives its food from the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley. The pantry applies for a state grant prior to the beginning of each year.
The year runs from July 1 to June 30. The grant gives the pantry money to spend on food for that time period.
Two days before each pantry opening day, Taylor-Johnson puts in an order to the food bank. The food pantry offers enough meals to feed anywhere from 60 to 80 families for 3 to 4 days. The food pantry orders anywhere from 22 to 25 hundred thousand pounds of food.
On Wednesday morning, three vehicles of volunteers typically go and pick up the food and bring it back to the church. Other volunteers meet them and help unload.
Bags are premade, because community members can no longer enter the church to pick up food.
Volunteers use a bleach water solution to spray down and disinfect the area prior to each pantry opening day.
Doors are opened at 2 p.m., and the pantry starts to hand out meals. There is usually a line waiting.
Prior to the pandemic, families in attendance would use a sign in sheet. The sign in sheet would report the number of adults, children, and seniors in each family. This information is then reported to the state.
Now individuals come up to volunteers, and verbally give their names and information. This information is then manually recorded by volunteers and given to the state. The pantry is no longer able to keep track of newcomers.
When it comes to safety precautions, all volunteers use gloves and masks.
“I’m still struggling to get more masks,” said Taylor-Johnson.
Taylor- Johnson said she’s been able to get more gloves than masks.
“There are people who’ve offered to help,” said Taylor- Johnson. “But, they haven’t really come forward with masks.”
As of now, the food pantry has no plans of closing. There was one week the pantry was closed, said Taylor-Johnson.
“We chose not to do it [open the pantry], then we realized it might not be an issue if all volunteers wanted to show up,” said Taylor- Johnson. Because of a full hearted commitment from volunteers, the pantry is still operating.
“Thank the lord none of us have come down with the virus,” laughed Taylor- Johnson. “At this time we’re going to keep going as usual.”
One can call Taylor-Johnson at 845-224-5011 for pantry information, to arrange drop offs, and to offer donations.