3/21: Response to COVID-19 and Current Needs

Thank you so much to everyone who has already reached out, and please know that gifts of food, funds and time are more critical now than ever to meet people's basic needs and promote the entire community's health and well-being.

Community need only increases during a crisis

For our neighbors who experience housing and food insecurity every day, another crisis quickly exhausts their resources. Plus, people who have not needed IFC before now will.

Kids are home from school. Low-wage workers are losing jobs or don't receive pay when they act responsibly to take sick leave. Utilities bills will increase with people at home more often, and healthcare crises are expensive. At IFC, requests for groceries, emergency financial assistance, meals, and shelter will increase in the coming days, weeks and months.

Fortunately, community response has been tremendous so far. The school system mobilized quickly with congregations, community groups and government partners to provide meals to kids who are out of school. TABLE is working hard to ensure that kids receive their usual backpack food, delivered to their homes. PORCH has diverted some donations to IFC’s Food Pantry, since they won’t be holding their usual meal sorting events.

We are grateful for these collaborative efforts. The only way to be there for our neighbors is to unite, and we will get through this together.

IFC is open – with significant modifications

IFC staff and volunteers are pulling out all of the stops to continue offering food, shelter, housing support, and (socially distanced!) human connection to our neighbors who depend on it. 

Here’s how we’re staying safe and open:

  • In all programs, we are following recommended hand washing, cleaning and social distancing precautions.
  • Food Pantry is operating by appointment only. Staff and volunteers pre-pack grocery orders and meet members outside in the parking lot with their orders.
  • Emergency Financial Assistance appointments are all being done over the phone.
  • Community Kitchen is preparing to-go boxes and distributing them out of the dining room in small groups.
  • Community House and HomeStart are reconfiguring sleeping arrangements to maximize distance between people. As the need arises, we will arrange for separate sleeping quarters for people who need to be isolated or quarantined.
  • IFC is working closely with long-time partner Piedmont Health Services to ensure that shelter residents and staff who develop symptoms are evaluated by medical personnel as soon as possible. 

3 Ways You Can Help: Food, Funds and Time

1. Drop off Food!

In this time of uncertainty, IFC is shoring up resources to make sure that whatever happens, we can provide the daily basics for members and shelter residents.

Groceries for the Food Pantry - 100 W. Rosemary Street, Monday-Friday 9am - 5pm
The Pantry receives much of our grocery supply from congregations and food drives. Because congregations are not meeting and grocery stores don't have much extra right now, we’re depleting our supply of staples more quickly than normal.

The most needed staples right now are:

  • Canned meat (spam, tuna, salmon, vienna sausages)
  • Canned or dry milk
  • Breakfast bars/protein bars
  • Cereal
  • Spaghetti
  • Toilet paper
  • Shampoo
  • Liquid soap 

Meals at Community Kitchen and HomeStart and Community House Shelters

IFC provides meals for up to 225 people every day. We have some food supply, but it will not be replenished like normal because our regular donations from campus, grocery stores and restaurants are slowing or have stopped. We are working to identify funding to purchase low-cost, bulk meals from some local restaurants that are currently maintaining a skeleton staff. We will freeze these in reserve until needed in order to ensure that we can continue to supply nutritious meals for residents and members.

We welcome individuals and groups who would like to drop off prepared meals for one of our programs.  You can drop it off right at the door!  Please touch base with staff first to coordinate.

  • Community Kitchen: 75-100 peopleCall Bill Culton at (984) 999-5260.
  • Community House: 50 people. Email Ka’Tiera Truett at ktruett@ifcmailbox.org
  • HomeStart: 20 people. Email Tracey Hagan at thagan@ifcmailbox.org

We also welcome donations to support food purchase.

2. Volunteer as you're able!

IFC was built by volunteers 57 years ago and still depends on volunteer power.  Many dedicated volunteers have understandably had to take a break until it is safe for them to return.  We are relying on our amazing, dedicated staff and a few remaining volunteers to keep things running. We welcome anyone who is willing to pitch in using appropriate handwashing and social distancing precautions:

  • Pack grocery bags in the Food Pantry
  • Prepare and package to-go meals at Community Kitchen

Email Monica at volunteer@ifcmailbox.org with your availability.

3. Make a spring donation!

Your gift will be put to good use immediately Please consider making a gift to help IFC safely meet increased need during this unprecedented public health crisis.

Most importantly - stay safe and be well, IFC Community!