I would first like to thank all the faithful volunteers and donors to Food For Friends for your patience, and kindness and continued generosity. I am believing that most of you are like me in that your nerves are being tested from cabin fever! We all have heard enough of the new terms, shelter at home, unprecedented, flatten the curve, and COVID-19.
Back in March, I posted a letter to you all about the impact of COVID-19 on our Food For Friends ministry. At that time a decision was made to cancel most of our March and April serving events in order to protect the health and welfare of both the volunteers and those we serve.
Since then our board of Directors along with our strategic partners have continued to monitor the COVID-19 events and work closely with regulatory agencies including the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Center for Disease Contol (CDC).
Innovation… sent from Heaven
While we knew we made the right decision to cancel our traditional serving offerings, our thoughts turned to those that are having a hard time finding the money for basic food expenses. We realized we had to figure out a new way to serve during these times. Our team became innovative and started coming up with ideas how we can still serve those in need and stay safe (safe for both them and for our volunteers) at the same time. So we rolled up our sleeves and what happened next was Heaven sent.
Our team got on conference calls. We brainstormed new ways of serving. We picked the safest ideas and began experimenting. A few volunteers took the lead and improvised by running a few events to provide meals. We followed Gods prompting and created a NEW WAY of SERVING those in need.
Examples of Recent Serving Events
For Easter we distributed hams along with the trimmings at a food pantry at HELPS Ministry St. Charles, IL. And we also distributed hams and trimmings to Fellowship Housing moms via a curbside pickup in Hoffman Estates, IL. Extra care and caution were taking in the distribution as we asked the moms and their families to stay in their cars. In addition, we delivered an Easter meal to Annex hotel, which was served by a couple of volunteers from the hotel.
Our mobile food pantry events in both Lake Zurich and Wauconda were converted to a drive-thru food pickup service.
You can read all about these recent events here on the website via the articles that have been posted.
In summary, we needed to create new and different serving ideas. Our board members and volunteers responded with great ideas and we then made it happen. So, as you can see, in these challenging times, we are still trying to provide meals to those in need, but with minimal contact and risk to both our volunteers and those we are serving.
Your Help is Needed
Friends, we are in need of your direct help. We are ready to continue to adjust our Food For Friends serving events to meet the needs of our friends and neighbors, the poor and needy families some who have lost jobs and have no income. We believe we can help them get through this time period by providing meals and groceries via contact-less curbside pickup events. However, we need your help to make this happen in 2020.
There are two ways you can help right now.
1) Gifts of monetary donations will help us buy the food. On this website, look on the left side. There you will see a Donate button. You can use this method to donate to Food For Friends electronically. Or you can send a check to us via the address below:
Food For Friends
P.O. Box 2423
Palatine, IL 60078-2423
2) We can use your leadership and volunteerism to organize similar Mobile Food Pantry distribution events like we have run over the last month. These would be contact-less curbside pickups and food distribution events in your area. If you have ideas you would like to explore with us, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to change and will be with us for many more weeks and months. This new way of living means we had to find a NEW WAY of SERVING. So please consider donating some monetary resources to Food For Friends and help provide basic food needs to people and families fallen on hard times.
Thank you for your thoughts and please pray for healing and those we serve. We know many people are caught between cautious wisdom and anxious fear. Please join us in opening the doors of HOPE, by CONNECTING trust in our GOD to our hearts so we can meet the needs of the vulnerable in GODS timing.
Finally, I encourage you to all to continue to stay safe by following all the necessary guidelines, precautions and advice from our government and healthcare leaders.
Daniel HerzogPresident, Food For Friends