Given the exceptional times we are living, the notable evolution and responsiveness to greater community need… I feel compelled to keep the conversation going by communicating on a more frequent basis during the gaps between our virtual updates. The format, as suggested by the title, will be addressing questions you, our volunteers, bring forth. These are the first two of many questions to be answered:
Question: Is there a plan to reintroduce volunteers back into Mama’s Kitchen?
Answer: Two goals have guided all COVID19-related actions that have been taken over the last 12 months:
- Staying functional and responsive to community need. In other words, keeping our mission in action; and
- Establishing and maintaining the safest possible workplace.
To that end in-house volunteering is at a very minimum at the moment. We’ve identified 3 volunteers, who are fully vaccinated, that have agreed to volunteer a minimum of 12 hours per week. At this time, we don’t anticipate bringing in any additional volunteers until public health guidelines on safety in work environments are further relaxed.
The next step in this process will be the introduction of a cohort model. It will be introduced at the March 25 State of the Kitchen update with a goal of implementation in the middle of April 2021.
Question: Is delivering meals more or less safe than working in the kitchen?
Answer: Delivering food is safer because of two factors:
- The delivery encounters are very quick; and
- often outdoors.
Volunteer drivers are asked to make no-contact deliveries for both their sake and the safety of the vulnerable client.
In comparison, kitchen volunteering entails more individuals in an indoor environment over a period of hours. In order to counter the less-safe indoor setting we
- minimize the number of different people in the building;
- control the overall number of people in the building at any given time;
- do temperature checks, have everyone (staff included) sign in and sign out; and
- implement a health survey that must be completed on a daily basis
Your questions and concerns are important to me. If you have a question about our current procedures or plans for the future that I have not answered yet, please feel free to submit them in the form below. I will get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you for your engagement in and commitment to Mama’s Kitchen.
Alberto R. Cortés
Chief Executive Officer