|New location provides drive-thru service|
Photo by Morris Stephenson:
A driver stops in front of God’s Provision Food Pantry to pick up a box of food Wednesday. While one vehicle is being loaded, the next one waits in line.
Monday, November 19, 2012
By MORRIS STEPHENSON - Special to the News-Post
When God's Provision Food Pantry moved its office and distribution center to the Schewel's Shopping Center, the food pick-up became almost automated.
Judy LaFon, director of the pantry, said the center's large parking lot has helped with the flow of traffic on Wednesday and Saturday as clients stop by the "drive thru" to pick up food.
The small parking area at the pantry's former location next to Randy's Auto Sales did not provide enough space for pick-ups, often tying up traffic, she said.
Food is distributed at the pantry twice weekly, except the first Saturday of each month.
Canned and other nonperishable food items are available on Wednesday, while bakery, produce, fruit and deli items are available on Saturday, LaFon said.
In the new location, three rows of vehicles line up facing the pantry area, while LaFon checks the list of clients who have been pre-approved to receive the food.
While one vehicle stops in front of the pantry's doorway, the next one waits in line behind it. Cars are directed to the line in the order they arrive, she said.
Each day, shopping carts are loaded with food items by volunteers inside the building. Outside, volunteers add a couple of final items to the boxes before they are loaded into the waiting vehicle. In most cases, the clients never have to get out of their vehicles.
The pantry, a ministry of the Rocky Mount Church of God, has continued to experience an increase in the number people in need of food assistance due to the weak economy, LaFon said.
"With an increase in the number of people we serve, this location has worked out well," she added.