At the Lancaster County Food Hub, our doors have remained open, and we have continued to serve our neighbors through the COVID-19 global pandemic. Our emergency Winter Shelter was extended through April, which allowed us to meet the urgent needs of our community. Our Program Coordintor, Becky, shared her perspective…
“I survived because you stayed home.
The night of March 18th in a room with 40 shelter beds, the news of the first positive COVID 19 in Lancaster was announced. It was here. It was real.
And it was going to hit us hard. The data was a flashing target at my heart’s work.
Everyone in the room was high risk: the elderly, the unsheltered, those with weak immune systems, those without access to proper sanitizing measures, those without access to healthcare.
I was high risk. High risk wasn’t a number or a saying on the news… it was all of the women around me, in that room, that I love.
And then you stayed home. You stayed home to protect the ones you love, while we worked to protect the ones we love.
And it worked.
The streets cleared and the stores closed.
Those who were ordinarily invisible were seen.
We placed sanitizing stations in places where we’d ordinarily need to hide from being “eye-sores”.
People driving by our safe spots saw us and not the day-to-day crowd of busy workers and casual strollers. And they stopped to help.
The hospitals cleared, and we could now be at the front of the line instead of hiding in the back.
Buildings opened doors to welcome instead of turning away at the sight of us.
Organizations came closer together and created new plans to serve.
We got first pick at housing opportunities and the entry level job market was ours to flourish in.
We had streamlined access to mental health and drug and alcohol systems.
We had food delivered to our feet.
We were, for the first time, seen and heard. At the front of line. We were the line.
And it felt great.
And we didn’t get sick. We got better.
We healed because you stood still.
I know this won’t last forever, we will go back to normal.
I know some of you want normal to be here yesterday and have expressed your discourse for the past weeks. I’m not here to say I blame you, or that your fears are not valid.
I want you to thrive as well. I just want to say thank you.
Thank you for allowing me to survive these past few weeks. Thank you for allowing me to come home to my family. Thank you for allowing my unsheltered family to be at the front of the line these past 6 weeks. They’ve truly worked hard and deserve it.
And please when we are back to normal don’t forget us. We will still be here.
Probably at the back of line, in the spaces that you look past on your day-to-day. And if you can, even for a moment, could you just stand still and see us?
Much love to all of you. Those that are hurting, those that are scared. We feel you. We are on your team too.”
— Rebecca Saner, Program Coordinator at the Lancaster County Food Hub
YOU can help others to feel seen, to experience safety and shelter, too. Donate here to help us continue meeting the basic needs of our community: