Two Delaware nonprofits that provide year-round assistance to the needy are continuing their work during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
People In Need is providing prepackaged food to those who drive to its facility at 138 Johnson Drive from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fridays. The distribution stops from noon to 1 p.m. each day during lunchtime.
The Common Ground Free Store is providing meals and groceries to those who drive to its parking lot at 193 E. Central Ave., from 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays and 10 to 11 a.m. Saturdays.
At both sites, patrons wait in their vehicles while the food is loaded.
PIN officials have said the organization's annual holiday clearinghouse helps about 2,000 adults and children.
The pandemic has exacerbated conditions for Delaware's most needy residents, said Lisa Clark, PIN vice president.
Since starting the drive-up food deliveries March 17, about 60 families have visited each day, including 106 on the first day, she said.
Before the pandemic, Common Ground had about 100 people stop by for a meal, clothing or household items each day the store was open, said Sharon Griner, the store's executive director.
Griner said the number of patrons steadily has increased since March 17.
The response is expected to continue to grow the longer schools remain closed, she said.
"Some people think we aren't open at all," she said. "We're trying to get the word out."
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has ordered all schools closed through May 1.
Besides providing families with food, PIN traditionally has assisted families with emergency services, Clark said.
Such situations arise, she said, when a family faces eviction or has emergency medical or dental needs.
During the coronavirus pandemic, she said, emergency services were being limited to appointments scheduled by phone at (740) 363-6284.
Clark said meals are based on family size. A meat selection and produce are provided when available.
PIN can cater to dietary restrictions if advised in advance.
Each food package is a four-day supply, and each family is limited to one visit a week, she said.
"A lot of food is going out the door," Clark said.
A number of food items are purchased from the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, and PIN welcomes donations to help defray the cost, she said.
Financial donations help each dollar go farther, she said, because they make it easier for PIN to buy food wholesale.
For information on donating, click on "How to help" at delawarepeopleinneed.org/.
Griner said the Common Ground's grocery distribution includes all food groups and each package is enough for people to get by for a few days.
Meals are prepared inside Common Ground by volunteers of four or five members of the same family to maintain social distancing, she said.
Common Ground can pay for take-out meals provided by participating restaurants, she added.
Common Ground also can provide such items as diapers, toilet paper and laundry detergent if families ask when they arrive for food, she said.
The free store also asks the public for financial donations, Griner said. Donations may be made by clicking "donate" at commongroundfreestore.org/.
On the "donate online" page, another "donate" link allows donations by PayPal.
Griner said financial donations also can be mailed to Common Ground at 193 E. Central Ave., Delaware, 43015.
Both Clark and Griner said the food distributions will continue as long as permitted.