New Britain YMCA hosts Mobile Foodshare for community members
Published: Wednesday, 13 May 2020 16:09
NEW BRITAIN – The New Britain YMCA hosted a Mobile Foodshare site in partnership with Foodshare Wednesday morning.
The giant white Foodshare truck set up shop in the Y’s back parking lot on the corner of Cedar and High streets. Tables were set up in front of the truck displaying an array of foods, like fruits and vegetables, for community members to choose from. As guests showed up, everyone had to take a number and was called in numerical order to grab what they needed.
“It flowed really nicely; it was kind of like first come first serve, so if you got there early you got number one,” said Marci Moskal, Branch Director at the New Britain YMCA.
Everyone was required to stay a minimum of six feet from each other as they waited for their turn.
“Foodshare’s volunteers came down and sprayed some chalk lines on the ground so people knew to social distance while they were waiting in line,” said Desiree Rivera, Membership Director at the YMCA. “We also had enough staff so we were able to have them walk around and if people weren’t following our procedures they would remind them during these times we have to practice social distancing.”
The Y took many precautions to ensure everyone’s safety. Everyone, including staff, had to wear a mask and gloves, participants had to bring their own bags, and the bags could not touch the tables. Everything was cleaned and disinfected throughout the entire process.
“We don’t touch the food,” Moskal said. “The participant has to grab their food so we’re not touching it.”
There were close to 60 people that attended the Y’s first Mobile Foodshare.
“We thought that was pretty good,” Moskal said. “There was a lot of food that was given out today to not only the people who live at the Y, but also the community, and they were so appreciative. During this difficult time they are just very happy that somebody is trying to help them.”
The Y took the spot of St. Ann’s and will act as a Mobile Foodshare site every other Wednesday going forward, May 27, June 10 and 24.
“We were able to accommodate Foodshare at this time. We still have our staff around and we have a huge parking lot and it just worked out,” Rivera said.
Rivera has been volunteering at Foodshare and thought it would be a great idea for the Y to get involved.
“I encourage people to volunteer, especially with Foodshare, in any way that they can because in these times it’s about trying to find something to feel good about and this is it. You’re taking a break from it (working during the pandemic), but still helping out during it,” Rivera said. “I really feel like this goes hand-in-hand with our mission helping the community.”
The Y has served the community for over 137 years and while their doors have been temporarily closed they have been taking care of their 90 Hart House residents, keeping them safe and helping to get them food, and providing free emergency child care for essential workers.
“We have close to 100 residents that live at the Y so we thought it would be a win-win for the YMCA and for Foodshare and it feels good,” Moskal said. “We started a wonderful relationship with New Britain Housing and Maria who does the Foodshare for her buildings.”
To volunteer contact Desiree at Drivera@nbbymca.org. For updates text Foodshare to 85511.