By Brenda Camp, Community Outreach
We’ve reported the challenges our round up partners face as they work to provide food for the kids and families they serve under the ever-changing constraints of the pandemic. This week, our team of bread bakers eagerly embraced a new weekly challenge—to add 670 half-loaves of oat bread to their weekly baking schedule. The bread is needed by our round up partner TABLE for their backpack kids to be able to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for themselves while on break from school during the pandemic.
Early Monday morning, the bread bakers mixed 628 pounds of dough, which they divided and shaped into 335 loaves of oat bread. The loaves of bread were then baked and left to cool overnight. Tuesday morning, the bakers sliced and bagged 670 half-loaves, and our truck driver delivered the racks of bread to TABLE’s backdoor for delivery for packing in that day’s backpack meals.
Since the schools closed due to the coronavirus, TABLE has been delivering food directly to the homes of 560-565 kids each week and to an additional 105 kids every other week. These numbers continue to increase each week. In order to streamline deliveries under the current constraints, TABLE delivers food every other week to the children who live farther away.
The children receiving weekly bags have been typically receiving 10 meals and snacks as well as about 10 to 12 fresh food items. The children on the biweekly routes are receiving double the amount, so 20 meals and snacks and 20 to 24 fresh food items.
Nonperishable bags are assembled each Monday, and fresh food items, including the oat bread, are added a few hours before deliveries go out.
TABLE depends heavily on volunteers to sort, bag, and deliver the food to the kids at their homes. They have COVID-19 guidelines in place to protect staff, volunteers and the families receiving food. All volunteers must complete daily health checks, and all individuals are required to wear masks when inside of TABLE. Additionally, volunteers must meet eligibility criteria – they and all those living in the household must be healthy, among other requirements.
I’ve you’re interested in volunteering, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.