With the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses and organizations across the country were heavily affected and forced to close down for the public’s safety. Several months passed without knowing exactly when the country could resume work and what the landscape would look like once everything began to reopen again. Many businesses had to close their doors forever because of the lack of revenue being made. Slowly, the process of reopening has been starting, and the new restrictions have pushed certain organizations to adopt more effective health and sanitation practices. One such organization is the Greene County Food Bank, located at 881 Rolling Meadows Road, Waynesburg, PA. The organization began in October of 1992 with the goal of helping everyone in need. Eventually the food bank became large enough to move to a new location, which is where it stands now. This was only possible through the overwhelming support of the Greene County community, which is still vital to the food bank to this day.
Food banks thrive on community and being together, so how could they survive in this new environment? As it turns out, very well, actually. The restrictions put in place from the coronavirus have done little to dampen the spirit of the community around the Greene County Food Bank. To combat the virus, the food bank has been turned into a drive thru, “that way they don’t have to get out of the car,” said Jessica Cole, Operations Manager of the Greene County Food Bank. Food bank workers simply receive the order and bring it out to people in their cars. Due to these restrictions, running the food bank has become slightly harder, mainly owed to the fact that the amount of paperwork has increased. Patrons are not permitted to sign their own paperwork to reduce contact, so they must give permission to a food bank worker to sign in their stead. This makes the process take longer than usual. Other than that, the food bank has adapted to the current environment. It seems that roughly the same number of people are using the food bank now than before the pandemic, but the exact number is hard to discern because extra food stamps were given out during quarantine. When asked whether or not donations have become harder to come by, Jessica stated “Our community has pulled together so well.” Financial donations during the lockdown seemed to have helped out the Greene County Food Bank more than ever, and “that was amazing how well our community came together,” she said. Just like when the food bank first opened, the community has supported it whenever it needed help the most. The easiest way to help out the food bank during this unprecedented situation is to either donate funds or volunteer to help out. Volunteer work is a great way to meet the community that the food bank cares so deeply about. The Greene County Food Bank is able to stay open and provide food to those in need thanks to the donations made by generous community members here in Waynesburg.