‘Think differently:’ Public employees redeployed to keep Racine County Food Bank running

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RACINE -- The City of Racine has had a few food pantries close due to a lack of volunteers amid the coronavirus pandemic. Now, the city's mayor has come up with a creative way to address the problem.

Cory Mason

"We've seen a real decline in volunteers as people are exercising the 'Safer at home' order," said Racine Mayor Cory Mason.

Sights like the one found at the Racine County Food Bank on Tuesday are rare -- people moving food who aren't volunteers or food bank employees.

"I work for the Racine Public Library and I work at the circulation desk," said Kiyomi Bryson, who was assisting in Tuesday's efforts. "I really miss that interaction, but I'm so thrilled to be here, to move and to give back."

Employees like Bryson who work in areas that are closed due to the pandemic -- including the public library and Racine County parks -- are now working to help keep the food bank operational.

"We've literally had to think differently about city operations, and redeploy people to do things that they don't typically do," Mason said. "They're packaging food so that, as the need increases, we still have the ability to have food packages available to people in this time of the coronavirus."

However, the non-perishable food being boxed up isn't going straight to kitchens. It will sit in a warehouse, and it will only be opened in case food access becomes a serious problem. That being said, none of the food is going to go to waste.

Kiyomi Bryson

"We want to make sure that we're not dealing with food scarcity as people are dealing with the coronavirus," said Mason.

The Racine County Food Bank said food donations are always helpful, but what it really needs right now is money. If you'd like to make a donation, CLICK HERE.

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