The Madison County Food Bank is open during its usual hours again; Tuesday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Director Bobbie Rooker said clients still need to make an appointment in order to visit the food bank by calling 706-795-5465.

Once an appointment is made, clients should arrive at the appointed time and wait in their vehicles for their food to be brought to their vehicles and placed in the trunk. Food bank staff and volunteers will wear masks and practice social distancing while distributing the food.

She said they have been especially appreciative of all the fresh vegetables that folks have donated from their gardens.

“The food bags look so nice when we can place tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and other nutritious fresh food in them,” she said.

The Senior Critically Ill Program is also continuing and Rooker said they currently have six clients signed up for that program.

“The community continues to support us through their donations and our shelves are staying stocked for those in need,” she said.

But as good as it is, as the need increases, so does the need for donations. Rooker said those who would like to donate food items should bring them to the front porch and leave them by the door during the food banks regular hours. “Just knock on the door and we’ll come get it inside,” she said.

Rooker said the food bank is already seeing an increase in appointments over the last few weeks as enhanced pandemic benefits have ended, leaving clients with less money to pay bills and buy food.

“I look for the numbers to continue to increase,” Rooker said.

This year’s Christmas program for children has been canceled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Rooker said it was it was a hard decision to make, but that it is important to protect the health of participants, the volunteers and the food bank staff.

“We just didn’t feel as if we could make it work at this time,” Rooker said, but added that she is hopeful the program will return in 2021.

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