COVID-19 has affected the number of volunteers, hours of operation, food distribution hours, and other programs at the Adventist Community Center. As a result of school closings in New York City, the Queens Center for progress was closed reducing the number of the volunteers. Theses volunteers were very instrumental carrying out the daily activities at the Center. Their volunteer Spanish translator from the same agency had to suspend classes as well. However, volunteers from the community came to assist.
The food distribution style was changed from clients choice to grab-to-go grocery bags (pre-pack bags) The hours of operation was changed from four days to two days, however, they have extended the food distribution hours to accommodate only ten people at a time.
Safety measures have been put in place at the Center: volunteers are given gloves, hand sanitizers and N95 masks. They also share and inform the volunteers of the health information and guidelines from the Food Bank for NYC and NYC Mayor’s Office. They are actively practicing social distancing, hand washing and each client is asked to use hand sanitizer which is placed in throughout our facility.
Churches can help the Center with prayer, monetary or in-kind donations for the following items:hand sanitizers, gloves, masks (N95), cleaning supplies, and fresh produce.
Due to the pandemic, the Center has cancelled the ten-week ESOL Course for Spring 2020 and rescheduled for Fall 2020. All other programs and events at the Center have been postponed until May 2020 depending on the further notice from the government agencies.
by Dr. Keicha Gosling, Executive Director of NECACS