Food will be given out as usual to those who need it on Thursday morning at the Luther Community Service Center. Staff and volunteers are prepared and have some alternate plans since the coronavirus emergency hit.
“We feel like we can use protective garb and disinfectant to adequately prevent viral transmission to or from people in their cars in the line. Food distribution will occur as usual on the first three Thursday mornings of the month,” said Mark Hegewood, director at the center, operated by the Luther Church of Christ. He said persons who have already registered as eligible may continue to do so. Anyone not registered but wanting to verify their eligibility needs to call 405-277-3911 first for instructions, he said.
“Our pantry items may be short some variety due to not being able to disinfect. For example, after March 19 we will likely not have fresh produce available simply because the supply chain passes through handling by human hands,” he said.
But food to help families who may be hungry will be shared, along with encouragement from Hegewood and all of the staff and volunteers.
“As scary as this whole Covid-19 episode appears, Oklahoma by chance is in a better position to weather this storm than some other areas. The activation of testing resources, quarantine and isolation procedures began well ahead of the curve, while we just had a few cases. We should be able to stay within the capability of our health care networks to treat those affected. We have forgotten that our previous generation dealt with such epidemics without the tools we now have. Hang in there for a few weeks and this will be mostly behind us. Pray a lot for help and guidance. Be very mindful of our older folks who are far more susceptible,” said Hegewood who spent many years as a missionary in Brazil.
The Community Center has temporarily suspended accepting donations, and has closed the store where goods such as housewares, clothing, furniture and other items are made available.
What about Sunday?
As Luther’s various congregations make plans for Sunday, Pastor Johnny Melton at the First Christian Church broke the news to his members via social media that all services are called off through April 8.
“The church is just a building. You and I are the church. We can worship anywhere!”
He said messages will be recorded and shared on Facebook.
“I know this is a trying time for us all and this is the time for us to lean on our faith more than ever. It is time to shine the light of Christ through us. I’ll see you soon and my prayers are with you. I love you all,” said Melton.