Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Coronavirus update

Common Heart is dedicating all our resources to continue to serve our community. We are focusing our service during this time of greater need on our food pantry programs. The immediate needs of the food insecure in our community has increased as the response to contain the Coronavirus continues to impact our daily lives. We are responding to that need.
Dear friends,

Last Saturday I sent out a message about new policies to keep our volunteers and neighbors we serve safe. We implemented them at our Saturday and Monday pantries and kept our promise to continue providing food to those who are the most vulnerable in this crisis.

  • On Sunday, the CDC said that for at least 8 weeks we would need to limit social interactions - 50 person limit.
  • Then came the announcement that schools were closed.
  • Then came the official advice that gatherings of 10 or more should be avoided.
  • Then came the closing of restaurants yesterday afternoon.

I am wondering what is next? I am sure you feel it too.

In the midst of this all, I also feel the plight of my neighbors dealing with meeting the basic needs of their family. I know that more of them are going to face hunger during this new reality, a very basic need.

Yesterday we closed our tax service, Literacy Program, Getting Ahead and Staying Ahead classes, and other programs to focus entirely on our food pantries. In a time like this we are focusing sharply on this basic need, food, and we need your help.

We are holding a drive-thru Food Drop-off & Fund Drive on the next two Saturdays, March 21 & 28, at Common Heart, 116 Business Park Dr, Indian Trail, NC. Food pantry shelves are running low on most nonperishables including canned meats, fruits & vegetables, peanut butter & jelly, canned soups, pasta/rice and cereal. If you prefer, you can participate by donating online at

We are also needing healthy, not at risk individuals, to help by being a backup for several key volunteer roles weekday and Saturday mornings. To help out as a backup person to deliver groceries to a family or pick up grocery donations, please contact

Our goal is to keep all our pantry programs functioning throughout the crisis. You can find a list of our pantry programs at

Thanks for your concern for our neighbors as we as a community continue to provide for the most vulnerable of our county.

Keith Adams
Common Heart
Executive Director

Please read more below about how to stop the spread of Coronavirus, our procedure enhancements and program updates.
Program Updates
  • Mill Grove UMC Monday Pantry & Union UMC Thursday Pantry - Converted to Drive Thru Pantries
  • Literacy 101 Volunteer Orientation is now online. Click to register.
  • Getting Ahead and Advocates for Change will postpone sessions till after the emergency.
  • Adult Literacy Volunteers will break from tutoring sessions and office hours until 3/31.
  • Free Tax Service will be closed until at least 4/1.
Procedure Enhancements
To protect our volunteers, staff and the neighbors we serve, we are seeking to reduce the size of groups at our pantries.
  • Beginning last Monday, we implemented drive thru pantries especially at our larger traditional pantry sites. This will reduce the number of people in the same space with social contact.
  • Volunteers interacting with neighbors in their cars will maintain a safe distance.
  • We are prepacking non-perishibles and fresh foods.
  • We are limiting the number of volunteers and spacing out work areas.
  • Volunteers are using gloves and maintaining safe distances from neighbors and other volunteers.
  • Increased cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces.
  • Requiring volunteer hand-washing prior to service and increased use of plastic gloves.
  • Encouraging "Air-hugs" and "fist bumps."
  • Requiring that volunteers who are sick or an at risk individual stay home.

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