Care for Real
Care for Real has been providing free food and clothing along with other supportive services for neighbors in need for 50 years. We talked with Gregory Gross, the Executive Director of Care for Real about how the pandemic forced them to take another look at their distribution process.
For decades, this food pantry allowed clients to come in and shop choose their groceries themselves but due to COVID restrictions, they had to change their entire process overnight. Upon examination of their current process they learned clients were often waiting up to 2 hours for food. They had to find a way to serve people more efficiently but with dignity and compassion. They switched to a grab and go model where clients waited outside for a box of pre-packaged goods. Orders were switched from handwritten to tablets. With these changes they were able to speed up the process and get the wait time down to just 15 minutes. Not only did they have to completely change their operation overnight, but in doing so, it allowed them to serve more people, more efficiently. Care for Real is still seeing an elevated need. In 2020 they experienced a 143% increase in first time visitors. In 2021, they saw a 73% increase. They are still in need of volunteers, financial support and food drives.