HOLLY SPRINGS • Care Now Food Pantry is connecting with MidSouth Food Bank to host its first mobile food pantry on Wednesday.
Pickup will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Care Now Food Pantry at 168 South Market St., Holly Springs. Volunteers will be distributing 300 boxes of food on a first-come, first-serve basis.
All volunteers will wear masks and gloves and try to practice social distancing guidelines. To reduce contact, recipients are to stay in their car as volunteers load food in their trunk. Volunteers will be organizing bags beforehand from 8-10 a.m. to ensure the mobile pantry moves smoothly. Forms will be filled out to track recipients but will not determine eligibility.
The pantry was not partnered with MidSouth Food Bank before but would be due to COVID-19, said Rolanda Jeffries-Lester, co-founder of Care Now with husband Antjuan Lester. Care Now had to close due to social distancing guidelines, but Jeffries-Lester said they still tried to provide food needs during those times.
“We are available by phone so someone who was in need could call (us and) we would bring them a box. That’s what I’ve done so far up until the mobile drive, is just delivering a box here and there when someone’s home,” Jeffries-Lester said.
Volunteers, including local pastor Melissa Riddle and Jeffries-Lester herself, delivered 75 boxes. During COVID-19, Jeffries-Lester has seen more people reach out with food needs due to job loss, lack of funds, children being educated at home rather than in school, or fear of going to stores due to coronavirus.
The mobile food pantry was planned in approximately two weeks to give time to find volunteers, masks and gloves, and obtain city police’s assistance in directing traffic. There will also be tables for set up. Volunteers for the drive include sororities and the local police and fire departments.
Since MidSouth offered to provide food twice a month, there is a possibility of future drives based on the outcome of the first mobile drive.
“If this goes well, we may do one towards the end of the month ... if the need is still there,” Jeffries-Lester said.
Care Now Food Pantry can be reached at 662-544-1027.