Dear Agencies,

Now that things are moving fast, we want to keep the communication flowing so that no one is in the dark…as best as possible.

We are anticipating that since stores are beginning to have shortages of food, that people are going to be wanting to use your pantries and/or meal sites even more. So with that in mind, here are some recommendations to best facilitate the serving of your people:

  • Keep washing hands and surfaces – the number one way to limit the spread of COVID-19 is basic hand washing
  • Social Distancing – continue doing this at meals and pantries: spacing of seats, limit the # of people inside, bring food out to people, “to go” meals, prepare  panty orders ahead of time, etc.
  • If you suspect someone is ill – keep them separated.
  • Other suggestions from previous communications


  • If you are ill, stay home – we need everyone who helps to be healthy so we can continue serving people
  • Wear gloves – when handling ALL food: packing bags, serving meals, delivering, distributing, etc.
  •  We have a lot, so don’t hesitate to ask for them
  • Be generous – since we don’t know if people are going to be quarantined, try to give more food if you can
  • Wellness Checks – if clients don’t show up at their normal times, reach out to them to see what they need: food, prescriptions filled, etc.
  • Do not let people fall through the cracks
  • If you close – if for some reason your pantry or meal has to shut down, notify us ASAP so that we can ensure that your clients get served

What we at CHOW are doing:

  • 5 Day Emergency Meal Kits – we are in the process of making pre-packaged “5 Day Emergency Meal Kits” for distribution.
  • Once they are ready, these will probably replace normal orders temporarily for ease of distribution and limiting the amount of time people are in your pantry
  •  Delivery – should we get to the point of needing to deliver food, these will be much easier to handle
  • 1 per person in the family – ie: a family of 5 would get 5 boxes
  • Distribution Sites – in the event that travel is severely limited, or many agencies close due to illness, or doctor’s orders to older volunteers to stay away, or quarantines, etc., we are planning on setting distribution sites to hand out or deliver the meal kits

As things change, we will do our best to keep communicating. And please keep us abreast of any changes on your end. If you have questions, please let us know. We may not have the answer because of how quickly things are changing, but we want the line of communication to be open.

We know these are unprecedented times, and there is a lot of fear and uncertainty in our community. But this is also the time for our community to come together and rise up to help one another; and this is what CHOW is all about. Our community is depending on us and we won’t let them down!

Thank you again for all you do!

Les Aylesworth
Broome County Council of Churches
3 Otseningo St.
Binghamton, NY 13903
607-724-9130 ext. 317

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