Suspending Kitchen Operations of our Healthy Meals Program

To Our Food for Health Family,

It is with a heavy heart that I must inform you that we will be suspending kitchen operations of our Healthy Meals Program effective today March 27th for a minimum of 2 weeks. As I have communicated, our team has worked diligently to continue to prepare and deliver our meals in a safe and efficient manner during this ever changing crisis. However, due to the recent spike in cases in Kane County, Illinois and across the US, we have come to the conclusion that for the safety of our clients, volunteers and community, we must pause our programming.

The past few days and this decision has been the most difficult in my professional career and I must assure you that this decision was not made lightly. We have actively monitored the situation daily, consulted with medical professionals, our Board of Directors and our Ceres Affiliate Partners. As the situation has progressed, I, with the support of our Board of Directors and team, have come to terms that at this time, we can’t continue our kitchen operations in a safe manner, and must do our part to flatten the curve.

At this time, there is NOT an active or potential exposure of COVID-19 within our program. There are many factors that contributed to this suspension, and we must be proactive rather than reactive to this pandemic.

Although we will not be operating our normal kitchen operations for some time, it does NOT mean that Food for Health is closed or in fear of shutting down. We will continue to do what we can to support our clients during this break. This may include delivering frozen soups, groceries or providing additional community resources. Our team is still available to address any questions and will be working on creative new initiatives for the upcoming weeks to provide the critical nutrients our clients need.

Below is a short list of critical information on how we will proceed:

  • Our kitchen will be closed to all non-staff members until further notice.
  • Kitchen volunteers, will be asked not to report to any shifts until notified.
  • Delivery Angels, will be asked to deliver a Care Package on Wed. 4/1, and to return the Snapware containers. We will ask you to remain in your car and pull up to the kitchen doors where a staff member will give you a paper bag containing the Care Package. Future deliveries are pending and will be communicated at the appropriate time.
  • We will be respecting the remaining weeks of delivery for all clients on our program. The suspension will be a pause of programing and the clients will receive all remaining meal deliveries on our reopening.
  • By April 8th, we will make a decision on if we will extend our suspension of programming or we will be able to reopen the following week. This decision will be dependent on the status of COVID-19 and aligned with the directions of the CDC, Governor’s office, IL Department of Public Health & Kane County Health Department.

I and our team, will be doing everything in our power to ensure we reopen at our earliest opportunity. This is not a time of rest for us, but rather a time to refocus and reorganize our operations so we can get back to providing our healing meals & opening our doors to our teens & adult volunteers, as soon as possible.

Although this is a sad day, I know that together we will be able to get through this difficult time. The care and love for our community has never shined brighter than over the last few weeks. Seeing the number of volunteers return to us offering additional help, and how selflessly our community has bonded together, has been one of the most heartwarming experiences of my life.

I thank you all for your continued support, dedication to our mission and serving our community.

In Health,

Zac Cesario, Executive Director

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