Feed People in Need, in COVID-times
Phinney Neighborhood Association
In this time of COVID-19 and mandated physical distancing, the PNA is *still* working to provide hundreds of meals each week to seniors, people without stable or permanent housing and others in need. Our typical beloved meal program was temporarily reconfigured to distribute only to-go meals, minimizing the time of close interactions between diners, volunteers and staff, and allowing diners to wash/sanitize their hands before eating. Now that we’re in Phase 2 of Washington’s Safe Start process, we are also able to offer seating, and are figuring out how to best serve our clients while keeping everyone safe.
Volunteers are needed to help prepare, set up, serve and clean up to-go meals for people in need. Dinner on Monday and Tuesday evenings (shifts from 2 to 6:30PM), lunch on Wednesdays (shifts from 9AM to 1:30PM).
HMP Volunteers in the time of COVID-19 must:
- be healthy!
- be at least 14 years old and preferably younger than age 65 (Stay Home, Stay Safe!)
- complete our volunteer application. Please be sure to include a valid phone number so we can keep you informed of any last minute changes.
- in possession of a valid WA food worker card (available for $10 online), and
- pass a background check
***Please keep in mind many of our diners are seniors and/or otherwise medically vulnerable. If you have any reason to believe you might have a cold/flu/illness of any flavor, or may have been exposed to COVID-19, please choose a different volunteer opportunity.***
How are we keeping our volunteers, staff & diners safe?
Meals are prepared in our closed-to-the-public commercial kitchen by vetted volunteers and staff. Physical distancing mandates are respected during food prep and meal services, and masks must be worn by staff, volunteers and diners (when not eating). Handwashing stations are provided for diners and surfaces are continuously sanitized. We provide aprons, reusable fabric masks and disposable gloves for all volunteers (though you’re welcome to bring in your own aprons and masks). All food-prep and dining surfaces are sanitized before and after use, and seating has been modified to allow for distance between diners. At this time, all seating is outdoors. Volunteers, staff and diners must pass a temperature check upon entry, and wash/sanitize their hands.
One of our meal sites is a 20-bed shelter for men without permanent housing to allow them to "shelter in place". To minimize the number of contacts for this medically vulnerable group, volunteers do not have access to the residents’ sleeping area or restroom facilities and residents do not have access to our kitchen facilities (separated by walls and doors). Volunteers and staff will use a separate set of restrooms.
Additionally, we have (homemade) masks for our volunteers to use while preparing, setting up and serving our meals. We ask each volunteer to take home their mask post-shift to launder and bring it back for use the following week.
Thank you for helping us to keep our neighbors fed!
About Phinney Neighborhood Association
6532 Phinney Avenue N., Seattle, WA 98103, US
The mission of the Phinney Neighborhood Association is to build community by providing programs, services, & activities aimed at connecting neighbors and fostering civic involvement in our diverse community.
Our programs include a hot meal program, a senior center, pre-school co-ops, before- and after-school programs for kids, an art gallery, and a Well Home Program including a tool rental library. We host community events throughout the year, including a Winter Festival, two beer tastes, a wine taste, a Day of the Dead celebration, meet the author events, a home design and remodel fair, Bingo/Karaoke parties, small community potlucks, a crochet group, concerts for families, and more.