Updated: November 17, 2020 05:37 PM
Created: November 17, 2020 04:54 PM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — As we get closer to the holiday giving season, organizations such as Foodlink are making changes in the way they will deliver food to tens of thousands of Finger Lakes region families that depend on them.
News10NBC took a look at some of the plans that were put in place due to the pandemic.
Food brings people together, but Foodlink's Chief Strategy Officer Mitch Gruber says things are going to be very different this year.
"We know we can't see large gatherings of people whether at a distribution, or at a meal," Gruber said. "So we're trying to develop all the different structures we can to make sure everything can be done in a safe manner while people still get the food they need."
Another major change, the annual Rosa Wims Thanksgiving Dinner is canceled this year.
"We've loved to do it this year, we can't do it because we can't have 100 people gathering in a small community center. So that issue is going to be across all the churches that typically get people together to eat. To break bread," Gruber said.
Foodlink serves Monroe, and nine of its neighboring counties in their Emergency Food Network. More than 30,000 holiday meals will be provided by shelters, soup kitchens, and food pantries.
"They can no longer have 150 people sit together so we're doing grab and go takeaway meals just like you would at a takeout restaurant. They're doing that, packing it up, and we're going to be helping facilitate a lot if you know Thanksgiving-style meals for those very programs," Gruber says.
Since the start of the pandemic, Foodlink has been running a touch less drive-thru food distribution 13 times per week.
"We have them scheduled now through the end of December," Gruber said. "People can still register by calling 211 in Monroe County, but we're certainly going end up doing more of these in the new year."
Another major change families will see is more raw vegetables and fruits, instead of canned ones to go with their holiday meals.
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