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Local

DeKalb County Community Gardens won't let COVID-19 stop them from feeding those in need

DeKalb County Community Gardens will help ensure seniors, families stay fed

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DeKALB – As area dining halls for seniors and the threat of school closings looms amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, DeKalb County Community Gardens is making sure residents stay fed.

“All of this is related to the [coronavirus] event that’s happening,” said Dan Kenney, director of the gardens Thursday. “If a family’s in need of food, their food needs are going to increase, so that’s part of the response.”

With the rise in elderly community members self-isolating to protect against further spread, Kenney said he’s in need of more volunteers to help make sure they have access to healthy food. To volunteer, visit www.dekalbgardens.org/volunteer.

To combat potential food shortages as the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread into northern Illinois, Kenney’s organization will be offering online ordering for Genoa and Kingston residents to be able to pick up their food from the Genoa Area Community Food Hub, 415 W. Main St., without leaving the car.

If you’re unable to drive, food hub volunteers will deliver it to you.

Visit www.oneseedoneplant.come/t/gacfh to place an order, and the pantry will have it ready for pick-up in a drive-thru capacity outside the building. The link includes options for softer foods for those in need.

They also have organized with the Voluntary Action Center, Family Service Agency of Dekalb County and Elder Care Services to share the Grow Mobile – a mobile food pantry which travels around DeKalb County – to provide meals and food to volunteers to disperse to clients.

The mobile pantry will still hold its pop-up from 8 to 10 a.m. at the Kingston Friendship Center, 120 Main St., Kingston.

“At the point where mobile pantries are no longer safe, DCCG will establish a method to order online for an emergency box(s) of food,” Kenney said in a news release Thursday.

Kenney heads to Rockford to the Northern Illinois Food Bank Friday to stock up on supplies such as large cans of vegetables and fruits, to help VAC prepare meals for Meals on Wheels.

The Genoa food hub also will be a drop-off point for Meals on Wheels to ensure volunteers can deliver locally.

Elder Care Services is providing bags of emergency food to their care takers so they can take them to home-bound seniors, who are more susceptible to fatal cases of coronavirus, Kenney said.

He’ll help them deliver the food Monday.

“Coronavirus does not target specific populations, socioeconomic status, ethnicities or racial backgrounds,” Kenney said. “DCCG will continue to treat all we serve with respect and dignity.”

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