The following is a message from our CEO, Tracy Maki.
Dear friends of Valley Outreach,
Supporting our community is the reason Valley Outreach is here. We help people move their lives forward through basic needs services and personalized support. Just like many of you, we are concerned about how COVID-19 may impact our community, especially the most vulnerable among us. We are temporarily adjusting our operations to minimize physical contact between people and food handling yet still offer food to those who need it.
We believe our temporary service model will help us continue programming while also protecting all individuals involved. Starting March 17, this temporary service model will be effective through at least the end of April. Our building will be closed to the public and we will prioritize distributing food and supporting clients via phone. We’re also prepared to adjust this plan should the situation change.
Here’s what you need to know about how the temporary service model will work for clients, donors and volunteers.
Information for Clients
- We will provide food to people through a drive-up service model, with no appointment needed, during our regular walk-in hours.
- Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
- Tuesday and Thursday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
- Our food drive-up process will direct people to the back of our building for pick-up. This will streamline service to ensure we can serve people quickly. Please be patient and do not line up before we open. We do not want to create an unsafe traffic situation. Be assured we are managing our food inventory, so we have enough food for everyone who comes to us for drive-up service.
- We will not be open for Bonus Friday and our building will be closed to the public, including StyleXchange.
- For resource assistance, financial assistance or for any other service-related needs, call our main line (651-430-2739) with questions. We will be routing calls via an automated system during this period and you may not get a person on the line right away. We will contact you as soon as possible.
Information for Donors
- Please help Valley Outreach by making a financial donation online. Financial donations offer us flexibility as we adapt our programming to meet increases in need. We anticipate that we’ll need to increase our food budget and order more products from our food bank partners.
- Donate food or facilitate food collection through a food drive with friends, family or colleagues (safely, of course). We continue to need the items listed in our Top 20 in 2020 Challenge flyer recently shared as part of the Minnesota FoodShare March Campaign.
- We will accept food donations during very limited hours through a drop-off model.
- Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 12:30 and 1:30 pm.
- Donations should be brought to the loading dock in the back of our building. These donations must be collected and weighed in by staff from Valley Outreach to ensure we’re maintaining food safety standards and tracking our inventory. Please do not leave donations outside our doors.
- If this option does not work, please email [email protected] or call 651-430-2739 to coordinate a different time.
- We will not accept clothing donations at this time.
Information for Volunteers
- Currently, we are not onboarding new volunteers. We appreciate all the interest in volunteering right now. It’s truly wonderful to see people looking out for their community. However, with limited programming and our commitment to following CDC guidelines, we’ll be operating with fewer people for the time being.
- If you would like to volunteer with us later this year, we encourage you to apply online. Our organization relies on volunteers and we are very grateful for their service. We anticipate a high need for volunteers when our operations get back to full strength. Apply now and we will contact you, likely later this spring.
We are also working hard to take care of our team. Staff will continue to follow handwashing recommendations from the CDC and rigorous cleaning protocols. Our team is practicing social distancing and will stay home if they feel unwell or know they have been exposed to the coronavirus.
Thank you for continuing to support people in need and prioritizing the health and well-being of everyone in our community.
Let’s make it better. Together.
Sincerely and with gratitude,
Tracy Maki, Chief Executive Officer