Much like other businesses, government boards, families and individuals, nonprofits providing human services to those in need are scrambling to find ways to deliver the help that is needed – while practicing responsible social distancing to inhibit the spread of coronavirus (or COVID-19).
At least until May 1, the Hinesburg Community Resource Center (HCRC) Friends of Families programs, including playgroups at the Town Hall and the library and the April Clothing & Book Swap, are suspended until May 1.
Center staff will reevaluate and reschedule the swap when possible.
The town’s food shelf is open but will operate in more of a “drive-through” manner and guests are asked to stay in their cars, the HCRC said on its website. They are doing frequent wipe downs of high-touch areas.
The emergency assistance fund is there for families facing a crisis, said Executive Director Rachel Kring. Call her during office hours 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. at 482-4946.
Twice is Nice is open for the time being. They are doing frequent wide downs of high-touch areas.
“We will be coordinating with the town of Hinesburg and the school system to meet people’s needs. A lot of kids will be out of school and we are working with the schools to make sure that they will have enough to eat,” said Kring.
She thanked the many people asking how they can help and offering to help deliver services to those who are quarantined at home. A number of local restaurants have offered to make extra food.
Kring said people have been offering “pretty much anything and everything.”
Age Well’s Meals on Wheels
Age Well, which offers support and guidance to aging community members, will continue providing meals to people 60 and older through its Meals on Wheels program in Chittenden, Addison, Franklin and Grand Isle Counties.
“The only thing that we’ve suspended is our congregate meals because we want to be respectful of social distancing,” Director of Public Relations and Business Development Tracey Shamberger said. “We still have volunteers who may want to do grocery runs, errand runs and getting medicines for people.”
The Meals on Wheels program serves 800 people meals every week, or 10,000 a year.
“We suspect the number will be increasing,” said Shamberger. “We’re always looking for volunteers. There’s more need in the community than we have volunteers.”
She said the need may be exacerbated during the coronavirus pandemic because the average age of an Age Well volunteer is 70, and that’s a vulnerable population for whom self-isolation may be even more critical.
For those who want information about getting Age Well help or about volunteering, the agency’s Helpline is the best source. Call 800-642-5119 or visit agewellvt.org.
Shelburne Food Shelf
The Shelburne Food Shelf is also working to make sure those who are food insecure have food during this uncertain time while keeping volunteers safe.
Their hours will stay as 9-11 a.m. the second and fourth Tuesday of the month and 5-7 p.m. on the second and fourth Thursday, but they will be packing up groceries for shoppers.
Shoppers will not be allowed to enter the building because the food shelf is located in the Shelburne Town Office Building at 5420 Shelburne Road and all meetings and activities have been suspended there. Patrons can either wait at the back door or in their car and food shelf volunteers will bring their groceries to them.
To check the schedule, visit shelburnefoodshelf.org or call the emergency phone line at 802-622-3313.
Food donations can be dropped off at the Food Shelf or at Shelburne Supermarket. For current needs please check the website. Also, donations can be made through their website.
The SCHIP (Shelburne Charlotte Hinesburg Interfaith Projects) Treasure Retail Shop at 5404 Shelburne Road in Shelburne and its warehouse will be closed through Saturday, March 21. No donations will be accepted until further notice.