John and Sue Laird, co-managers of Tri-Area Food Bank, have announced plans for returning to a pre-pandemic grocery-store model, as a friendlier approach for clientele. To minimize Covid-19 exposure for the past year, clients have received a weekly pre-packaged bag of groceries. While this practice has helped hungry neighbors, it has not been considered ideal.
The Food Bank is aiming for the first Wednesday in July to allow clients with protective face masks into the building. They’ll be able to go through the line to pick out the specific items they need and want.
The open-store decision will be made on June 30, the day Dr. Tom Locke, Jefferson County health officer, will update and perhaps relax the Covid-19 restrictions for Food Banks. If the decision favors making the shelves available for shopping again, the Food Bank anticipates readiness for the new format on July 7.
In the meantime, the Food Bank continues to have these needs:
- Donations of dry goods (anything that does not need refrigeration).
- Donations of money to purchase food supplies.
- Volunteers who can work on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, especially people who can lift 40 pounds and stand, walk, or sort items for four to five hours at a time.
While the Food Bank appreciates recent offers of vegetables and fruit, they are not needed; several local farms keep the facility well-supplied with fresh produce on a regular basis.
The Food Bank is sustained by the ongoing generosity of several entities. The Lairds expressed gratitude to the volunteer staff and to the Port Ludlow Community.