COVID-19 update - Here's how we will be adapting to continue our services at this time:

“Helping Hands Food Pantry plans to operate”

Helping Hands Food Pantry of Eaton County is committed to the health and safety of clients, volunteers, and the community. The COVID-19 virus has created unprecedented circumstances around the world. With some modifications, we will continue to serve our community. Most importantly, we ask for prayer and God’s favor as we continue these efforts.

We are closely monitoring the advice and recommendations provided by state and federal guidelines, as well as Feeding America, Greater Lansing Food Bank and the Barry Eaton District Health Department. We want to take this opportunity to let you know what policies and procedures we are implementing in response to the COVID-19 virus:

Modifications to Clients:

• As an organization we have clients and volunteers who are immunocompromised: For everyone’s safety we are asking clients and families to not enter the building. If anyone is sick, please stay home. If the client is sick, please send someone to pick up the food.
• To protect both clients and volunteers, we will have a sign-in sheet outside of the main door. Families will sign in one at a time and be given a number. Clients will wait in their cars until the order is complete. Orders will be processed based on family size and will be given what items we have available at Helping Hands. The client’s food will then be rolled outside on a cart. It will be the families’ responsibility to load the food themselves.
• Carts will be brought in individually by volunteers and disinfected before being used again.
• We ask for patience while we all learn and adjust together.

Actions we are now taking:

• We are educating our volunteers and clients on preventative measures provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
• We are increasing the frequency and extent of our cleaning practices, such as wiping down all non-permeable surfaces and frequent touch points.

Times are evolving and changing rapidly. What we have in place for the foreseeable future may be different in the coming weeks. We ask anyone with questions to please call Helping Hands at (517) 543-8737 or visit helpinghandsfoodpantry.org.
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In case you missed Phil Grimwood's guest column in the County Journal, here is his report on the milestones we reached last year.

Helping Hands Gave Away $1 Million Worth of Food in 2019

Helping Hands Food Pantry has just completed a whirlwind of a year. In April 2019 we broke ground at 621 Jefferson St. in Charlotte, and on October 15 we began operating from our wonderful new facility.
Designed specifically for use as a food pantry, the new building is everything we hoped it would be. We have three times as much space, an ample parking lot, private offices for meeting with clients, storage all on one level and many more features to better serve our clients. The new facility has, without a doubt, made it possible to continue helping the most vulnerable of our community for many years to come.
Nearly two dozen contractors and businesses were involved in this project—almost all of them local. Not surprisingly, after making the building slightly larger and adding a few upgrades, the entire project cost a bit more than we originally planned, with a final cost of $375,000. But because of the generosity of local people, as well as a substantial grant from the Community Foundation, we are within $50,000 of being entirely debt-free, which is a major component of our long-term sustainability plan. We are confident that our supporters will continue to help us to meet the goal of erasing that debt.

Helping Hands Passes $1 Million Mark
For the year 2019 we honored 6,000 requests for assistance and distributed 624,000 pounds of food and personal care items (about 520,000 meals) free of charge. In another first for Helping Hands, according to Feeding America the wholesale value of that product exceeded $1 million!
Because most of our food comes from the Greater Lansing Food Bank, our actual cost for $1 million worth of food is less than 10 percent of that amount. Just $25 provides a family of four with about a week’s worth of milk, meat, cereal, canned goods, fresh produce, baked goods and other staples as well as toiletries.
We are thankful as we face 2020 that God has provided us with 35 volunteers, seven board members, a generous community and the tools to get the job done effectively and efficiently. We welcome your donations to tackle the harsh reality of food insecurity within our community. You may mail gifts to Helping Hands, 621 Jefferson St., Charlotte, MI 48813 or give online at helpinghandsfoodpantry.org.
If you missed our open house in November and have not yet had the opportunity to check out the new building, I encourage you to contact us to arrange a tour. Feel free to call me at 517-231-2205 or email philipgrimwood@yahoo.com. Thank you for your continued support.

Phil Grimwood
Helping Hands Food Pantry
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January at Helping Hands.......559 household requests for assistance = 1,762 people, including 667 children and 250 seniors, = 54,000 lbs of food! ... See MoreSee Less

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