Looking for something to do? The Community Action Services and Food Bank says they need volunteers to help assemble pantry boxes and then fill them with food for those in need.

That is the word coming from Karen McCandless, CASFB director. She said the word today is donate. Donate time or food.

As the situation with COVID-19 continues to change, the way Community Action is responding has had to change as well.

“We have a bottleneck right now,” McCandless said. “In having boxes assembled and then food put in the boxes. We provide gloves, hand sanitizers and masks.”

If you can volunteer, there is no need to call ahead, simply come to the Provo facility, 815. S. Freedom Blvd. between 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon-Thurs. and 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday.

Volunteers will not directly work with CASFB clients, but will be working in the food bank creating those vital food boxes, McCandless said.

“We take pride in letting clients have a choice and pick the food they like,” McCandless said. “Because we are trying to keep interaction at a minimum we are going to a food box system. Clients will not be able to walk through the food bank.”

This process will start Wednesday or sooner if the food bank can get the boxes ready.

Clients who are return customers and already in the system will sign in at the lobby and then either return to their cars or wait outside. The lobby will send their order to the food bank and the correct amount of boxes will be brought together.

According to McCandless, the customer will then be called and they can drive their vehicle up to where the boxes will be loaded.

“We are trying to minimize the interaction,” McCandless said. “Food boxes are the best we can do for the situation.”

Boxes will all have the same types of food. They will be packed for one, two, three or four people. If there is a family of seven, for instance, they would receive a box for four and box for three, according to McCandless.

New customers will have to register in the lobby.

“This will be in place until May 15. But everything is fluid at this point,” McCandless said. “We want to be here for the community that needs our services.”

The Feed Utah 2020 Food Drive has been postponed but that doesn’t mean there’s not a need for food donations, McCandless said.

McCandless noted that food donated to the food bank is also used for several nonprofit food banks and for churches in the area as well.

“Food goes to dozens of community partners,” she said.

The food bank also provides Kid’s Nutrition Packets for the schools. While schools are closed, the food is still being distributed. McCandless said they are still working out some of the details on the safest way that can be accomplished.

She also said that she expects to see a surge in community need in the next three weeks.

“Paychecks will stop coming in and food will run low for some,” McCandless said. “We’re here to help, that’s our mission. We’re working as fast as we can.”

McCandless said classes through Community Action Services have been canceled through March including the Circles program.

“We are closely following the Center for Disease Control’s directions,” McCandless added.

Daily Herald reporter Genelle Pugmire can be contacted at gpugmire@heraldextra.com, (801) 344-2910, Twitter @gpugmire

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