With positive cases of COVID-19 soaring through staff at Warm Blessings in Elizabethtown, Executive Director Dawn Cash made a “hard” decision to immediately close in-person dining services for the homeless and others in need.
Cash said four of six staff members have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and in an effort to protect volunteers, remaining staff members and guests from the virus, in-person dining was suspended.
“It was a hard, hard decision to come to,” Cash said. “But to keep everyone as safe as we possibly can, it’s the best decision to make for everyone’s health. If it wasn’t made, we put staff, volunteers and guests at a greater risk.”
Cash said when in-person dining resumes at the soup kitchen is unknown. She said each Friday the leadership will determine a plan for the next week.
The decision has no impact on the delivery of senior meals three days a week, she said. In-person dining is offered Monday through Friday at its facility on East Dixie Avenue.
She said an alternative plan that starts Thursday will be to provide groceries for five dinners for clients for as many people as there are in the household.
Grocery pickup will be 5:45 to 6:30 p.m every Thursday during the closure.
Clients and those in need are asked to call Warm Blessings at 270-763-9276 to receive a grocery bag. Cash said clients must provide how many people are in the household and if they have the use of appliances to cook meals.
She said clients also can receive detergent and dryer sheets for laundry services. She said $5 also will be provided for two loads at a coin-operated laundry.
“We haven’t completely closed down at any point and we don’t intend to,” Cash said.
“We’re trying to limit the amount of contact as much as possible,” she added. “Keeping people safe is the main thing.”