Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Valley Goes Curbside to Address Coronavirus
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The Hunger Coalition is already serving more families as the coronavirus puts lives, jobs on hold.
   
Tuesday, March 17, 2020
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

The Community Library is offering curbside concierge. Mountain Rides is running two buses during the morning commute to enable social distancing. And The Hunger Coalition and Senior Connection are delivering food boxes to people’s cars.

Local organizations are getting creative as they try to figure out how to address the needs of valley residents as Sun Valley-area residents hunker down to slow the spread of coronavirus.

  • The Community Library shuttered Monday, as did the Hailey Public Library. But not before patrons had stocked up on books and tapes on Sunday, leaving shelves noticeably empty.

    The library will begin curbside concierge today. Email the library at curbside@comlib.org or call 208-726-3493 with a list of DVDs, books and periodicals you’d like to check out. A librarian will check out materials, placing them on the library’s Spruce Street front porch.

    Don’t know what you want? Request a surprise bag.

    Those with library cards numbers and a PIN can also access some resources remotely through the Internet. Call 208-726-3493 for help setting up. Check out the library’s digital resources at https://www.comlib.org/digital-services/

    Library officials also said that patrons can access the library’s WiFi outside of the building as it extends around the perimeter along Walnut, Spruce Avenue and 4th Avenue. Choose communitylibraryoutdoor when logging on.

  • Mountain Rides will continue bus services as long as possible, said Kim MacPherson, director of Community Development for the bus service.

    But to allow passengers to maintain a recommended social distance, it will cap the number of passengers on each bus.

    Only 32 passengers, for instance, will be allowed on a 32-seat bus.

    To make sure there are enough seats during the morning commute, Mountain Rides will run two buses on the northbound leg of the Valley Route. The buses will depart Clover Street in Bellevue at 7 a.m. each week day.

    Fares will be free to ensure boarding happens as quickly as possible.

  • The Hunger Coalition saw twice as many families as usual during the first couple hours of its Monday food distribution said Kristin McMahon.

    “Some people are anticipating layoffs; others used our services years ago and are just now coming back after having their hours cut,” said McMahon.

    The Coalition normally sees about 30 families during the first hour. On Monday 52 families were in line, said Executive Director Jeanne Liston.

    “We anticipated this so we purchased 10 percent more food,” she added. But we were lighter on non-perishable staples, such as pasta, rice, canned beans, canned meat and canned fruits and vegetables.”

    In order to make sure those facing hardship get fed while keeping volunteers and recipients safe, the coalition is continuing its distribution services on Monday and Thursday. But volunteers are delivering food boxes to recipients’ cars, rather than allow them to walk through the food pantry.

    Food will be distributed from 1 to 6:30 p.m. and 3 to 6:30 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays at 121 Honeysuckle St in Bellevue. It will be distributed from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood in Ketchum.

    The Coalition is also continuing to work with the Blaine County School District to ensure children who rely on school meals are fed during the district-wide closure between March 16 and April 5.

    The Coalitiion currently has a waiting list of volunteers, McMahon said. The safest most hygienic way to help right now is by donating via the website at https://thehungercoalition.org/act/donate/ or by sending a check to 121 Honeysuckle St., Bellevue, ID 83313.

    “People have been incredibly generous,” said Liston. “Times like these put the community to the test. And having people want to help speaks well of our community.”

  • The Senior Connection, meanwhile, is now offering meals to go between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. weekdays since it shut down its weekday lunches. Those needing a meal should call 208-788-3468 the day before or by 8 a.m. on the day of pickup. Meals will be brought to the car via curbside service.

 

 

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