The Good Shepherd Center continues its fight against local food insecurity

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Grocery bag distribution at The Good Shepherd Center (Photo: Celeste Smith/WWAY)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Good Shepherd Center continues to feed the hungry, but altering its method of providing meals, due to challenges presented by the pandemic.

The Good Shepherd Center is now only distributing hot lunches to its shelter residents, to ensure that social distancing is maintained.

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Despite temporarily pausing meal distribution to people outside of their shelter, it is still offering grocery bags filled with fresh produce, bread, and non-perishables every Wednesday from 12pm to 1pm, to those who are dealing with food insecurity.

“Well, we used to have close to 200 people coming in at lunchtime, and we found that, that wasn’t possible with social distancing. We tried, very early in the pandemic last year, to do a food giveaway through Styrofoam containers and prepackaged silverware. We found that was still not very healthy for folks lining up outside, the social distancing. So, we chose to go through the drive-through and do the contactless giveaway that way,” said Jane Birnbach, Senior Development Director at The Good Shepherd Center.

The non-profit hopes to soon extend their hot lunch services to individuals outside of their shelter, as the spread of COVID-19 continues to slow down.

“We don’t feel that the numbers quite dictate opening up just yet, but as more of our staff and guests, and volunteers are getting vaccinated, and the numbers continue to go down, and the governor keeps changing the numbers of people that can gather, we evaluate that on an ongoing basis, and once it’s really, really safe to do so, we will,” said Birnbach.

At this time, The Good Shepherd Center will continue to give out food, toiletries, and household items weekly on Wednesdays.