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The Oakland Food Pantry Emergency Food Distribution Plan is Now In Effect 


Because of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Oakland Food Pantry will be closed this coming Thursday, March 19. 

Thereafter, the pantry will be open the second and fourth Thursday of each month from 4 to 6pm, until further notice.

In April, the pantry will be open the 9th and the 23rd.

Since the church is closed, when the pantry resumes food pantry operations on March 26, distribution of food to our patrons will be done outdoors in the parking lot adjacent to the pantry. 

  • Patrons waiting in the parking lot are asked to distance themselves from other patrons by at least 6 feet;

  • Patrons are asked to dress appropriately based on forecasted weather conditions;

  • Patrons are asked to please limit the number of people they bring with them to the pantry.
    Only one person should be present to pick up food; others should wait in their vehicle or off

  • Patrons will not be permitted to enter the pantry or the church buildings, so no bathroom
    facilities will be available.

  • Starting in April, when the pantry will be open 2x each month, patrons will be instructed to
    come to the pantry only 1x each month at which time they will receive an amount of food equivalent to 2 visits. In the past, our patrons have always shopped two times a month. There will be no reduction in the amount of food distributed to shoppers each month, however it will be distributed in one visit rather than two. On March 19, patrons will receive an amount of food equivalent to one visit.

  • Fresh produce will not be available until further notice.

  • Patrons must not come to the pantry if they feel ill and develop a fever and have symptoms
    such as a cough, or difficulty breathing. Rather, the patron must find a person to come to the pantry for them. In the event that a patron is unable to find a person to come to the pantry on their behalf, then they should call 207-465-3911.
    The new food distribution process will be as follows:

  • As patrons arrive at the pantry, they will select a number from a stack of numbered post-it notes placed on a small table, outside, at the door leading to the Church Fellowship Hall. A small bottle of hand sanitizer will be placed on the table for use by the patrons.

  • All patrons are expected to distance themselves from each other by 6 ft or more as they wait for their number to be called, and to stand clear of food distribution tables.

  • Two tables will contain pre-packaged boxes of food ready for distribution: one table will have boxes for families of 1-3 people, another will hold boxes for families of 4 or more people.

  •  A volunteer will call patrons to the tables one at a time, by number. When a patron reaches the table they will be asked to provide their name and family size which will be recorded by the volunteer. Patrons that are new to the pantry will be asked to provide their full name, address, telephone number and family size. The volunteer will direct the patron to put their post-it note in an adjacent trash can, remove the appropriate size box (based on family size) from the table, and then the patron will leave the premises. 

2. The process of food distribution will be modified with the primary goal of ensuring social distancing and no physical contact of any kind.

Key points include: 

  • Rubber gloves and hand sanitizer will be provided and used by volunteers. Jean has purchased a supply of 600 rubber gloves; hand sanitizer is in short supply but we will make every attempt to purchase additional supplies as soon as possible.

  • Registration of patrons will be temporarily waved; one volunteer will be stationed outside behind the distribution tables, and will record on a tablet the name and family size of each patron that receives a food distribution. This tablet will be kept clean at all times and will then be provided to Leanne who will enter the data at a later date.

  • Laundry detergent and dish soap will continue to be distributed 1x/month.

  • Volunteers will box up food in advance of the pantry opening; boxes will be prepared for
    families of 1 to 3 and for families of 4 or more.

  • All boxed foods will be marked with a black line or check across the top of the can or on the
    front of the box to identify that it is a product that will be distributed from the pantry into a patrons home. If later, any of these items show up as a donation, they will not be brought back into the pantry until a determination is made that it is safe to do so. More information & planning is needed on how to handle this.

  • For the time being, no fresh produce will be laid out of tables for patrons to self-select. Fresh fruits and vegetables provided by Good Shepherd Food Bank will be added to food distribution boxes by volunteers.

  • All boxed food will be carried out side by volunteers and placed on two folding tables. There will be a folding table with boxes for small families ( 1 to 3 people) and a table with boxes for large families (4 or more people).

  • If it rains when food is being distributed, tarps will be used to cover the food boxes. Tarps will be lifted by a volunteer wearing gloves when patrons approach the table to pick up their box of food.

  • At closing, all tables & tarps will be sanitized prior to carrying the tables back into the pantry for storage.

  • When food deliveries are made by a volunteer to a patrons home, the volunteer will not enter the patron’s home. The box of food will be set down outside the door or just inside the door. When the patron answers the door social distancing will be used and door knobs will not be touched. An attempt will be made to keep home food deliveries to a minimum.

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