A customer at the Community Co-Op in Little Falls does some shopping.

by Dave Warner

The Little Falls Food Pantry and Co-Op have an immediate need for approximately 10 volunteers, and the Little Falls Volunteer Corps is stepping in to try and help out.

Jordyan Mueller said that the LFVC is trying to be pro-active when it comes to helping these organizations get their needs met. However, it also comes down to helping individuals as well.

“Getting the essential needs met. We’re just trying to get people mobilized to be able to respond to needs as they arise,” she said.

She said that the group is also trying to organize so that other organizations who may need help will find a ready and willing partner in the future.

“Right now, the Food Pantry and the Co-Op are looking for additional volunteers next week to support unloading boxes and trucks and organizing donations, and potentially making deliveries,” stated Mueller.

Volunteers can expect to work 1-2 hour shifts at either location, but the priority is the Monday morning truck unloading at the Food Pantry on Furnace St.

Tony DeLuca stated, “Due to the increase in current demands, we’re faced with a volunteer shortage. A tractor-trailer will be coming at 9 am Monday morning and we need to get it off the truck and into the Pantry, and then in addition to that, they could stock the shelves as well.”

The Food Pantry has also changed how they are distributing the food. “We are prepackaging family baskets. Before they used to be able to come into the store and shop the shelves. We’re not doing that any longer,” said DeLuca.

“It’s now boxed up take-home meals for families and only allowing one person in at a time,” he said.

DeLuca said that there weren’t any changes at the Co-Op, but there’s a spike in purchasing items at the store. “We also carry things that aren’t available in other supermarkets that are specialty foods, and people with special dietary needs rely on the Co-Op to provide those items to them.”

The Co-Op needs unboxing, sorting, and organizing, “so there’s no public-facing work,” Mueller stated.

“We rely on volunteers for that back area,” DeLuca stated. “Our paid staff can’t keep up with the back room and stocking. They’re working 12-hour shifts.”

Mueller would like to see younger volunteers such as herself step up to help with this immediate need.

“As this moves forward, the ability to have people do remote coordination like making phone calls, or check-ins and outreach just so that the community can stay in touch and connected is a great pro-active step. We’re definitely going to need people to help with that too,” Mueller said.

“This is a really united community and this is a show of that unity…taking proactive steps to make sure we are all safe.”

If you would like to help, please fill out the form that is attached to this link.