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Carroll Food Sunday to reopen June 30 with a few changes

Carroll Food Sunday in Westminster will reopen Tuesday morning after being closed for months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Even though the Carroll Food Sunday building located at 10 Distillery Drive was closed, the organization was still able to distribute donations at Grace Lutheran Church.

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“We had to find a way we could social distance people because we can’t do a drive-thru operation [at Carroll Food Sunday],” said Ed Leister, executive director of Carroll Food Sunday. “We would drive a truckload of food up [to Grace Lutheran Church] and they distribute it for us.”

They also have another location in Eldersburg at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, which was also closed but they continue to distribute food in the parking lot through a drive-thru, according to Leister.

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The reopening on June 30 will be conducted differently than usual due to regulations brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“They won’t come inside now; they will line up outside and be served through a doorway,” said Leister. “They will sign up at one door, go around the corner and receive their food at the other door. Our waiting room has 50 chairs but they’re next to each other and there’s no way we could keep people apart inside.”

There will also be markers outside the building so clients can be socially distanced.

According to Leister, they are also not letting anyone in the building since most of the volunteers are aged 70 or older and are willing to come back since the clients won’t be coming inside.

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The volunteers will be wearing masks, gloves and aprons when distributing food. They also had the facility professionally cleaned and sanitized to follow Centers for Disease Control guidelines.

The hours have also changed; Carroll Food Sunday will now be open Tuesday through Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to noon.

The COVID-19 pandemic did affect their fundraising, which had to be cancelled through the rest of the year since they are mainly dinner or breakfast fundraisers that usually have many people packed in one room and won’t be able to social distance. Lack of fundraisers haven’t stopped the flow of donations, according to Leister.

“[The donations] actually got better,” said Leister. “We found a number of people who receive their $1,200 dollar [federal stimulus] check chose to send a portion of that to nonprofits.”

They still haven’t reached their fundraising goal but Leister is hopeful that donations from the community will keep up and will help them get there.

“We’re headed where we would normally be in money coming in donations, so I’m feeling fairly positive about it and people will continue to support us throughout the rest of the year,” said Leister.

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