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Despite being away from social order and staying home, the food pantry and other food aid continues in Copper Country, with a few additions and few changes.

“We continue to distribute food,” said Tom Fishesh, who coordinates volunteers at Saint Vincent de Paul Food Pantry in Hancock with his wife Vicky.

The store serves a large portion of the Houghton area, except for the CLK School District, which is served by another store. Vicky said that while some of the regular food recipients stayed at home due to the health problems surrounding the epidemic, local local layoffs caused new people to ask for help as well.

Distribution continued on Wednesday, but they restricted the building to 5 people, and all volunteers wore masks and gloves.

With the churches closed and the used items store next to it, the usual way to accept the food store is not available. On Thursday, they tried to gather for two hours at a food store to collect food and donate money.

“We were totally successful because the notification was only two days,” said Saeed Vicky.

They are allowed to collect food on Thursday by leaving it on the table for most of the week before volunteering and sorting it, giving the coronavirus plenty of time to dry and die. They will meet again on Thursday, from 10 in the morning until noon at the food pantry, where they will decide whether to continue with the weekly group. Financial donations are used to supplement basic needs, purchase perishable food, and provide cleaning supplies and paper that cannot be purchased with the help of government food.

Jan Laberg, Executive Director of the Hutton Community Work Agency said that they would have a lot of help available to people, just call 552-482-5528. At this time most of the food is said, but if people contact other needs, they will do anything to help. Some of their programs have been suspended temporarily, but they are expected to continue.

“They can still call and get their names on the list,” said Laberg.

Their employees were in the same building wearing masks and gloves and practicing social distance, but the office doors remained closed. Office staff fill food so that volunteers do not need the building.

“We try to do what we can with those we have here,” said Laberg. “It is difficult, but so far we are fine.”

Emergency food aid is being put outside to be taken, and it is prepared through the kitchens and the big food.

“We will just open their doors and put the boxes,” said Lbergge.

LaBerge and Vichich say that while regular supplies are disrupted, nothing is immediately worrying.

Usually a lot of noodles and soups are donated to St. Vincent, but without regular donations, they almost disappear, but when Vicky buys food for St. Vincent, he tries to avoid buying large quantities of pasta or soup.

“I hate to remove all of this off the shelf,” she says.

He can get some from the CAA food bank instead right now.

Laberg said that some high-demand goods from Feeding America, one of its main suppliers, were not available because the company was selling them to stores now rather than donating them.

“Nobody was hurt, but it is difficult to work this way,” she says.

The Hankook Rescue Army still distributes food, Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11:00 to 15:00. Salvation Envoy Prevention Deliciere said they asked the recipient to ring the bell at the door and that they would take out pre-filled food bags. They only require one person to come to each household, and bring an ID with photo. For other types of assistance, or to make special arrangements for receiving food, call the office at 342-482-906.

For those who want help, Delacey said, cash donations allow them to purchase what is needed. It can be sent to: Salvation Army, p. Box 389, Hancock, Michigan, 49930.

The Hutton Episcopal Church in Houghton has already started a new dining kitchen about a month ago. According to the chief of staff, Valerie Paiser, the launch was not linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, but was just in time. The Church does everything in its power to follow social distance guidelines while providing those in need with food, cleaning supplies and paper products.

“Anyone can enter, you do not need approval or multiple lists or whatever, it is open to everyone,” he said.

The store opens on the first and third Thursday of every month from 10:30 in the morning until noon.

“We just want to help the people who need them, and to make other options easier for them,” he said.

For more information or to make a donation, call the church on No. 906-482-2010, or you can send items in their mailbox at 205 Montezuma Street in Houghton.

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