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COLUMN — FACES tackles COVID-19 challenges

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed all of our lives but it hasn’t fundamentally changed who we are — except to challenge us to do better. This is as true for institutions like Farmville’s FACES Food Pantry as it is for individuals. FACES has been distributing food to area residents who need it for nearly 40 years. The current crisis only strengthens our commitment to that mission.

The pandemic and its economic fallout make FACES’ job more critical and more difficult, but FACES has adapted to meet the challenges. Richmond-based Feed More, the source of most of FACES’ food, has committed to supplying as much food as possible to its agencies and has designated FACES as a priority emergency agency for our region.

To protect clients and volunteers, FACES has changed its Saturday distributions to drive-in so clients can stay in their cars while volunteers put food in the trunk. New volunteer guidelines require wearing gloves and masks and maintaining a safe distance. Client eligibility requirements have been relaxed to allow any regional resident in need who has been laid off or is unemployed to receive food.

If you know anyone who has been hurt financially by this pandemic and is currently in need of food, please ask them to contact FACES at facesfarmville@gmail.com or call (434) 392-6277 or just come to a distribution at 482 Commerce Road in Farmville between 8-10:30 a.m. any Saturday morning. And if you can help, please consider volunteering for food bagging Thursdays 3-5 p.m. or distributions Saturdays 7:30-10:30 a.m.

Thanks for any kind of help you can give.

Ellery Sedgwick is the board chair at FACES. You can reach him at esedgwick@longwood.edu.