Santa Clarita Grocery Founder Bradley Grose explained how COVID-19 has impacted his Santa Clarita food pantry’s ability to serve fresh groceries to the community, bringing volunteers and community members together in a time of crisis.
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, as businesses have been forced to open and close as conditions improved and then worsened again, Santa Clarita Grocery staff has done its utmost to see to the many families who have been financially impacted by job loss.
Grose explained that he’s seen a surge in people seeking out services since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
As of May, Grose said the number of families served by Santa Clarita Grocery had “quadrupled.” Since then, Grose and the rest of the volunteer staff have reorganized to better serve the community in light of increased demands and procedural changes to keep everyone safe and healthy.
One way in which the service has changed to promote health and safety is by limiting who can come into their supply warehouse.
Whereas before, those in need of fresh groceries came directly into the warehouse to “shop” for groceries and other supplies, COVID-19 has inspired a new, “drive-thru groceries” solution.
“Each week, we’ve perfected the new system,” Grose explained. “Our volunteers have shifted, to now they are their shoppers, shopping for our guests that are waiting in their cars.”
Drive-thru groceries pickup is available three days a week, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday and from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on Saturday.
The Santa Clarita food pantry has even established special “Senior Hours” on Wednesdays from 3:30 to 5 p.m., helping keep seniors or their representative shoppers from having to spend too much time in their cars waiting for drive-thru groceries pick-up.
Another way the Santa Clarita food pantry is helping to protect the community is by supporting their volunteer staff, reaching out to people who are less likely to be impacted by the pandemic.
“When COVID hit, we took the executive decision to let all of our volunteers take a hiatus who were over 55 (years of age) because we were wanting to not put them at risk,” Grose said.
Fortunately, there’s been an outpouring of volunteer support from younger staffers who aim to support their fellow Santa Clarita residents.
“It’s just been beautiful to watch how it happens,” Grose said. “It’s one of the greatest joys of our volunteer team that we get to serve the people in our community that are in need.”
Santa Clarita Grocery is a non-profit focused on providing food to Santa Clarita families in need. 99 cents per dollar donated goes directly to providing groceries to families across the Santa Clarita Valley, making SCV Grocery one of the most efficient charities in the area. If you would like to help Santa Clarita Grocery in its effort to reduce hunger, please consider donating to us on Paypal.