Loaves & Fishes Changes Up Distribution to Fight Coronavirus

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With restaurant dining rooms closed across Illinois due to concerns about coronavirus, having groceries at home is more important than ever.

Loaves & Fishes Drive Thru

Loaves & Fishes, a nonprofit that provides food to low-income families, knows their clients are no exception. They’ve changed up their distribution model in order to reduce COVID-19 transmission.

“What we’ve done on a temporary basis is changed the way we distribute food to people,” said Loaves & Fishes President and CEO Mike Havala. “So instead of having a large number of people come through and sit in our waiting room and come through our market, what we’re doing instead is we’re doing pre-packed boxes and people are getting a full array of groceries.”

The boxes include a full array of groceries, including produce, dairy, meat, and other goods.

Decreasing Contact

The drive-thru model decreases contact between clients, volunteers, and employees at a time when people need it most. Havala said they saw about 10-20 percent more traffic on March 17.

“Certainly if we see that kind of demand continue, we will need more food to provide to our clients. So we’re working with the places we get food, mainly the grocery stores where we do our food rescue, which is most of the source of the food,” said Havala.

Virtual Food Drive

One other way Loaves & Fishes is seeking more supplies is through their virtual food drive.

“Through a virtual food drive, you can actually order specific foods that we will then buy and fulfill that order to get to our clients,” explained Havala. “So you can do this at home, you can do this right from your phone, it will take 60 seconds for someone to effectively do a food drive and provide food to our clients.”

More information on the virtual food drive is available on the Loaves & Fishes website.

Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.