Mendota Area Christian Food Pantry resumes inside distributions

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MENDOTA – The Mendota Area Christian Food Pantry is now open for inside distribution of food, and clients are again able to choose their own items.

Tracy Cooper, executive director, said the food pantry is excited to be open again but they are still keeping safety in mind. For now, there is a limit on the number of people who can be inside at one time.

“We’re using a pager system so people can wait outside or in their car until it’s their turn,” she explained. “It’s a very good system and has been working well.”

In addition, everyone is asked to wear a mask. Even though all food pantry volunteers and employees have been vaccinated, Cooper said they are still taking every precaution. “We are cleaning all surfaces, masks are available for those who don’t have one and there is plenty of hand sanitizer to use while inside the food pantry.”

Food distribution days are Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:30-10:30 a.m. The food pantry is open Tuesday through Friday from 8-11 a.m. Cooper noted that they are no longer doing mobile distributions in Earlville, but Earlville residents can come to Mendota to pick up food. She also emphasized that anyone having a food emergency can stop in whenever the food pantry is open.

Cooper said they currently have a lot of milk and eggs available and the food pantry also has a special kids’ shelf for families with school-age children. Up to 20 extra items can be chosen from the kids’ shelf, which includes various snacks, breakfast bars, peanut butter and jelly, and microwaveable lunches that are easy for children to open and prepare.

Cooper expressed her appreciation to everyone who has been supporting the food pantry, and especially to those who donate their time. “We have great volunteers who have now been able to return to help out,” she said.

Donations are being accepted, preferably dropped off Tuesday and Thursday mornings to avoid distribution days.

The Mendota Area Christian Food Pantry is located at 918 Main St., Mendota. Anyone with questions about donations or the qualifications for receiving assistance is encouraged to call the food pantry at (815) 538-2211.