CHUM West Duluth Food Shelf Reopens

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, food insecurity issues seem to be growing in the Northland. In response, one local organization has reopened one of its food shelves to help those in need.

DULUTH, Minn. – As the coronavirus pandemic continues, food insecurity issues seem to be growing in the Northland. In response, one local organization has reopened one of its food shelves to help those in need.

With a growing need, CHUM has stepped up to the plate, as it has opened its West Duluth food shelf after shutting down in late March due to the coronavirus.

Normally, CHUM operates three food shelves throughout the city, which operate on different days of the week, but with the West Duluth one being closed for months, it became apparent that location needed to reopen to help serve those who may have lost their job due to the pandemic.

“Lots of folks go to grocery stores,” said Scott Van Daele, the director of distributive services at CHUM. “There’s stuff that they might not have readily available and people. If they’re unemployed or anything like that, they’re looking for that extra boost.”

Recently, if you lived out in the West end, you would have had to travel all the way to Lakeside or to the downtown location to get to a CHUM food shelf. That turned into an inconvenience for those who don’t have the transportation to get there.

Staff at CHUM say that was one of the biggest factors for reopening as the food being handed out is still coming from its main location.

“But all food is transported from here from the downtown food shelf,” said Van Daele. “So we’re sort of robbing Paul to pay for Peter.”

Volunteers at the food shelf practice social distancing, wear masks and gloves and use hand sanitizer regularly.

The onsite pantry is also now a drive-through model. Clients are asked to remain in their cars while staff and volunteers load food into the trunk.

The food shelf, located on the 48-hundred block of Grand Ave. will operate on Mondays from 10 to 12 or until all of the pre-packed food boxes are picked up.

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