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PORTLAND, Maine — Preble Road Useful resource Middle, one of many largest social service businesses in Maine, will shut down its to-go soup kitchen on Monday and shift to a cellular meals distribution program that “brings meals to individuals the place they’re.”
The initiative goals to supply primary meals wants and dissuade crowds from gathering at its Bayside web site through the pandemic, in keeping with Ali Lovejoy, a program director at Preble Road.
As a substitute, caseworkers from Preble Road, in collaboration with employees from different businesses, will distribute meals twice a day at 9 totally different areas all through town to individuals experiencing homelessness.
Roughly a dozen COVID-19 circumstances have been linked to individuals who have stayed at metropolis and nonprofit shelters for the reason that pandemic reached Maine, a fee of contagion that many who work within the area concern may spike as shelter turns into extra of a necessity as soon as summer time ends.
Preble Road closed its eating room in late March when COVID-19 hit Portland, distributing meals by means of its again door at 252 Oxford St. and shifting assets to assist employees a 50-bed momentary shelter at College of Southern Maine’s Sullivan Health club.
Some employees who’ve labored there are heading the company’s avenue outreach collaborative. Others can be relocated to positions inside the company as shoppers staying at Sullivan Health club transfer this week to city-operated shelters on the Portland Expo Constructing and Oxford Road Shelter.
Lovejoy hopes the cellular avenue outreach collaborative can streamline efforts to safe housing and emergency shelter for extra individuals. Preble Road regarded to meals distribution fashions in Boston and elsewhere and consulted with different businesses that work with unsheltered populations to make sure that individuals don’t fall by means of the cracks.
“We’ve finished as a lot theoretical working by means of as we are able to, however some issues we received’t know till we’re on the market,” Lovejoy stated.
This system can be costlier to implement than the single-distribution web site, largely as a consequence of rising meals prices for the reason that outset of the pandemic. The company has served a report variety of meals for the reason that pandemic started, Lovejoy stated.
Preble Road will proceed to function its meals pantry, the place individuals can decide up bins of meat, potatoes, greens and dry items from 1:30 p.m. to four p.m. 5 days per week. Ready meals additionally will nonetheless be distributed day by day to space shelters and the YMCA.