As COVID-19 continues to spread to nearby communities, another situation affected by the virus is access to the local food shelf. With social distancing, and now food insecurity appearing in communities as a result, some are concerned what that means when it comes to how they are going to access food in the future.

As COVID-19 continues to spread to nearby communities, another situation affected by the virus is access to the local food shelf. With social distancing, and now food insecurity appearing in communities as a result, some are concerned what that means when it comes to how they are going to access food in the future.

According to Sam Lye, Chippewa County’s food shelf coordinator, there is currently no public access to the food shelf. He said, “There is an emergency number that you can call and arrange a pick up time for a food box, and the number to contact is (320) 226-8775. Someone will bring the food outside by the regular food shelf entry doors for them to pick up.”

Lye stated that at this time the food shelf has enough food, but he anticipates that this will not be the case a month from now.

With the high rate of unemployment due to social distancing and shelter at home, and with numerous businesses and workplaces closing to slow the spread, there will be an increasing number of individuals accessing the food shelf.

“We anticipate more usage in the next few weeks, but it is hard to guess how much usage will increase in that time,” said Lye.

According to Lye, food availability will depend on their ability to order from Second Harvest, a major contributer to the shelf, in addition to food donations, as well as monetary donations used to purchase the food.

“The Chippewa County Sheriff’s Department has some food shelf boxes that the food shelf gave them for emergency distribution. We also have a satellite food shelf in Clara City at Bethany Reform Church, which can be reached at (320) 847-3322. Emergency food boxes will also be available at the Clara City Police Department,” said Lye.

The food shelf is still receiving both food and cash donations, however they have seen a decline in donations recently. If you are able, monetary donations are appreciated and needed to continue supporting those in our community who are less fortunate, or struggling at this time. Monetary donations can be mailed to Prairie Five CAC, PO Box 15, Montevideo, MN 56265.

“Our goal is to make sure that no one goes hungry,” Lye said. “We will do this to the best of our ability, however it will ultimately depend on demand and supply.”

Lye also stated that the Food Drive/March Campaign is being extended to the end of April.