LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — The huge impact this pandemic is big having on jobs, forcing so many out of work. That means service organizations and non-profits have really had to do more with less.
The Lighthouse Community Center in Lynchburg has made some big changes. They would normally open their doors for low-income people and people experiencing homelessness to sit down for lunch and take part in fellowship, but that’s not possible these days.
Instead, they’ve moved to a grab-and-go system.
“What you can see here is we’ve set up a nice little table so that as our guests are able to get their boxed lunch,” said Martha Brown, Executive Director of Lighthouse Community Center. “They’re also able to grab a grocery bag and do some shopping and grab some fresh items that they can carry home with them.”
With schools closed and people out of work, they’ve had more mouths to feed.
“We are seeing some new individuals. We might be seeing some grandchildren with their grandparents. We’re seeing moms come to pick up for their children at home.”
More people to serve, but with less help.
“Some of our volunteers have spouses at home that are ill or that have respiratory issues, and they need to stay home.”
The virus has also meant people who need clothes have fewer options, as Sha’ron Givens, who manages the organization’s closet of donated clothes, explains.
“If they didn’t find anything, I was able to give them tokens that they could shop at any Goodwill store, with the vouchers, they’re called vouchers, but what has changed is Goodwill has closed down for right now.”
But through it all, there’s hope.
“The ability to know that there is that stimulus check coming,” said Brown, “it has put a lot of hope in individuals that otherwise were very concerned.”