Kelowna pantry fast motion to maintain individuals protected as demand will increase

In less than 24 hours, one of Kelowna’s busiest pantries has taken steps to ensure people are a safe distance from one another.

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When the Kelowna police helped map out the logistics of a drive-through service on Monday. We returned on Tuesday to see how it all played out.

“We’re on the 24th and in Leavenworth, probably one of the busiest corners of town,” said Mike Hornacek, President and CEO of Together Inc. “Having 180 or 200 cars in a row is challenging and will create traffic problems . ”

The line spread for a few blocks on Tuesday. The police blocked roads and directed traffic; all in an effort to help people like Angela Brucks move through the line.

“I’m a single mother with one child and since he doesn’t go to school, the demand for food in the house is higher,” said Brucks.

People were queuing outside in the pantry until Tuesday, but concerns about lack of social distancing led to rapid changes.

“I’m sure it won’t be perfect,” said Hornacek. “We have never done this before, but we will all learn and do our best.”

They are doing their best at a time when the demand has never been so high. Before the outbreak, the Together Food Pantry served around 150 people a day.

“For the past two weeks we’ve had an average of 600 or 700 a day and yesterday it was just under 1,000,” said Hornacek.

Proof of the increasing number of people who have suffered a financial blow during the coronavirus crisis.

“It’s just very difficult to make ends meet right now,” said Angela. “It’s really rough now, it’s really, really rough.”

The Together Food Pantry still allows people without a vehicle to walk and get food, but encourages those who can drive through to do so. The passage is open Monday to Friday from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Hornacek said that in order for them to keep up with growing demand they need help from the public. If you want to know more about donating

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