Pandemic curtails services at CCS, Holy Cross Ministries
Friday, Mar. 20, 2020
SALT LAKE CITY — Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Catholic Community Services of Utah and Holy Cross Ministries have stopped all non-essential services.
At CCS, the St. Vincent de Paul dining hall, Weigand Homeless Resource Center, Gail Miller Resource Center and Joyce Hansen Hall food pantry will operate with minimum staff and limited services, although basic needs such as food, water and shelter will continue to be provided, according to a press release.
The CCS Migration and Refugee Services staff will work from home, while the administration office has closed for two weeks, beginning March 16. All volunteer opportunities, orientations and trainings are suspended.
At CCS Northern Utah, “We are anticipating the need from families and seniors will greatly increase this week,” said Maresha G. Bosgieter, director. “Many of them have had their hours cut back at work, are trying to provide more meals for their kids at home, or just aren’t able to purchase the food they need due to shortages at the stores. It is definitely also affecting our perishable donations from the grocery stores, which account for a large percentage of what we normally give out.”
To help prevent the potential spread of the illness by having volunteers and clients crowded together in a small space, CCS Northern Utah is closing its building and food pantry to clients, volunteers and walk-in donations for the next two weeks, Bosgieter said.
“Staff will be busy pre-packing boxes of food that we will be distributing outside directly to clients in their cars,” she said.
CCS staff also will be dropping off pantry packs and dinners-in-a-bag to the schools normally supported through Bridging the Gap, “so they will have them on hand to help students who are coming in for breakfast or lunch,” she said.
“I would like to just personally encourage people to be considerate when they are shopping,” she added. “With everyone stocking up on a six-month supply of food, toilet paper and cleaning supplies at the same time, it truly does negatively affect those who can only afford to shop for the here and now.”
At Holy Cross Ministries, the School Readiness preschool classroom closed for two weeks, beginning March 16. The HCM staff will serve its clients virtually rather than in person, said Lauren Fields, the organization’s communications specialist.
“We will not be taking walk-in client appointments, and existing and future scheduled appointments will be handled over phone or Skype services,” Fields said.