Long lines, long wait with much larger food distribution in Medina

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 June 2020 at 8:16 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Owen Foos, right, and Andrew Lafave carry boxes of food to a trunk of a vehicle outside the Calvary Tabernacle Church in Medina on Friday.

There were 352 vehicles that stopped by the church for a food distribution that expanded from one box to three.

The distribution was supposed to be maxed out at 300, but the church was able to accommodate more than 300.

The distribution was scheduled to go from 9:30 to 11:30. Cars were lined up by 8 and the distribution continued until after 12:30 p.m. due to the long lines that stretched out over several streets. Most of the vehicles were in line for hour and a half to 2 hours.

Greg Reed, director of the Orleans County YMCA, hands a box to Andrew Lafave. Some of the YMCA staff helped with the distribution on Friday.

Three different trucks delivered the food on Friday morning. The boxes were in three groups: mixed dairy, cooked meat and produce. Each box was about 25 pounds.

Vince Iorio, pastor of the church, motions for the next vehicle to pull up. The church uses the former Medina High School on Catherine Street.

The next distribution may be moved to the Medina Middle School where there is a bigger parking lot, but that hasn’t been confirmed yet.

Heather Smith, director of the Orleans Community Health Foundation, volunteered at the food distribution with her daughter Gabriella. Smith’s son Isaac and daughter Paige also helped with the effort..

Donna Poore, left, coordinator of the food pantry at Calvary, asks how many are in the household, if there are any senior citizens in the household and what zip code they live in.

Melissa Blanar, right, is director of the Office for the Aging in Orleans County. The OFA handed out 100 washable face masks to seniors and 200 bottles of 2-ounce hand sanitizer. The OFA did the same last Friday during a food distribution in Albion.

The volunteers went through about 1,000 boxes of food on Friday.

This round of food distributions introduces a new state-funded program called Nourish New York. This funding allows Foodlink to purchase local product.

Some of the Foodlink product also is from the federal USDA’s new initiative called CFAP (Coronavirus Food Assistance Program). In this program, distributors who would normally serve schools, restaurants, and municipal programs are able to pre-pack boxes of perishable product and deliver to distributions being done all over the country.

People don’t need to register for the food distribution. They are encouraged to clean out their trunks and keep their windows closed. Volunteers will put a box of food in the trunk and then close the trunk.

The food distributions the next two weeks include:

  • Friday, June 19 – Community Action, Main Street Store, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
  • Wednesday, June 24 – beginning at 10 a.m. at the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds on Route 31 in Knowlesville (includes one box of produce)
  • Friday, June 26 – Holley Community Center, former Save-A-Lot grocery store parking lot, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

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