LiftUp changes to delivery system in effort to keep people at home, reduce exposure to COVID-19
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — LiftUp of Routt County’s plan to implement a drive-up system for food pickup has been put on hold as the nonprofit shifts to home delivery of food, according to Executive Director Sue Fegelein.
“We are trying to encourage all of our clients to switch to delivery if possible to keep people safe and in their homes,” Fegelein said Thursday afternoon.
It’s the latest change for the food bank as it continues to devise new ways to safely provide food to those in need at this critical time. The challenge is doing that without exposing employees, volunteers and community members to COVID-19.
“It’s changing every day and every hour,” Fegelein said. “But we’re just trying to dissuade people from walking or driving to LiftUp because of the stay-at-home order.”
To do that, LiftUp has teamed up with the Routt County Council on Aging whose volunteers will deliver the food to those 60 and older, as well as Routt County United Way and the Routt County Office of Emergency Management, who will deliver food to those younger than 60.
The Routt County Council on Aging will deliver food boxes designed to last a month to the homes of area seniors. Those residents should call 970-879-0633, ext. 3, and leave a message with their name, their physical address, their phone number, an email if they have one and the number of people in their household. They should repeat their phone number, and they will get a return call confirming their delivery.
Those younger than 60 should call 970-879-5605, ext. 12, and leave the same information on the voicemail as the seniors, and they will get a return call and a month’s worth of food.
The box of food will be delivered to the household once a month until the crisis is over. In the Steamboat Springs area, the food will be delivered on Tuesdays or Fridays, in North Routt on Fridays, in the Hayden area on Wednesdays and South Routt on Thursdays.
The plan is to begin the program Tuesday, and Fegelein asks that people call by noon on the day before the food is needed. She said people should not start until noon on Monday.
“We will still have food for any folks that do still come to LiftUp because obviously the word won’t reach everybody,” Fegelein said. “We’ll probably facilitate cars through a drive-through system, and we’ll still have a walk-up system. But at that point, we’ll ask them to call one of the numbers, and we’ll have someone bring them the food.”
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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The pandemic is wearing on a lot of people, especially frontline health care workers like Whittany Keating, a registered nurse at UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center in Steamboat Springs.