April 3, 2020

Saint Francis Food Pantry to expand hours and add additional day of service beginning next week amid COVID-19 pandemic

Starting the week of April 6, 2020, the Saint Francis Food Pantry will add an additional day of service and expand its hours for people in need of assistance during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Starting the week of April 6, 2020, the Saint Francis Food Pantry will now be open on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Prior to this change, the food pantry had only been open on Tuesday and Thursday from noon until 2:00 p.m. since the health crisis began.

For individuals or families needing assistance, food bags will be distributed at the door. Any future changes will be posted and recorded on option 6 of the Saint Francis of Assisi Kitchen voice-mail system at (570) 342-5556.

Saint Francis of Assisi Kitchen continues to provide one meal per day to people in need between 11:00 a.m. and noon. Meals are being distributed outside of the building in take-out containers. Evening meals have been suspended until further notice.

At this time, the agency cannot accept food or clothing donations from individuals at the door until further notice. Financial contributions can be made by check or online at www.stfranciskitchen.org.

 

March 17. 2020

Due to guidance from state officials, Catholic Human/Social Services has started to offer many of its services by staff via the internet, telephone, telemedicine and FaceTime.

Signs have been posted at all Catholic Human/Social Services buildings that restrict access if clients are presenting any symptoms of the coronavirus or even the flu.

KITCHENS: In compliance with current mandated restrictions and in an effort to continue supporting the food insecurity needs of our brothers and sisters in need, the Saint Vincent de Paul Kitchen in Wilkes-Barre and the Saint Francis of Assisi Kitchen in Scranton have made the following changes:

  • Effective March 17, 2020, Saint Vincent de Paul and Saint Francis of Assisi will provide only one meal per day. Meals will be distributed outside of the building in take-out containers. Evening meals are suspended until further notice.
  • The Saint Vincent de Paul Kitchen in Wilkes-Barre will continue to provide meals to the Mother Teresa’s Haven homeless shelter.
  • Effective March 17, 2020, the Saint Vincent de Paul Kitchen Free Clothing Store, located at 39 East Jackson Street, Wilkes-Barre, will be closed until further notice.
  • Effective March 17 2020, the Saint Francis Free Clothing Store, located at 504 Penn Avenue, Scranton, will be closed until further notice.
  • Effective immediately, the Mid-valley Outreach Program located in Olyphant, Archbald and Carbondale will be suspended until further notice.
  • Effective immediately, both Saint Vincent de Paul Kitchen in Wilkes-Barre and Saint Francis of Assisi Kitchen in Scranton will not accept donations of food or clothes at the door until further notice.
    • Financial contributions can be made by check or online at: www.dioceseofscranton.org/css/contribute/ (Saint Vincent de Paul)
    • stfranciskitchen.org (Saint Francis of Assisi)

FOOD PANTRIES:

  • The Saint Vincent de Paul Food Pantry in Wilkes-Barre will remain open, at this time, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Food bags will be distributed at the door. There will be no evening hours.
  • Starting the week of April 6, 2020, the Saint Francis Food Pantry will now be open on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Prior to this change, the food pantry had only been open on Tuesday and Thursday from noon until 2:00 p.m. since the health crisis began.  Food bags will be distributed at the door. Any future changes will be posted and recorded on option 6 of the Saint Francis of Assisi Kitchen voice-mail system at (570) 342-5556.
  • The Nativity Place Food Pantry, 640 Hemlock Street, Scranton, will continue its normal hours of operation.
  • The Saint Joseph Pantry, 214 West Walnut Street, Hazleton, will remain, at this time, during normal operating hours. Food bags will be distributed at the door.

SHELTERS:

  • Staff have been educated regarding the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and what to do if they believe a potential client may be ill.
  • All staff have been encouraged to stay home and notify a supervisor when sick.
  • All shelters are being cleaned and disinfected according to CDC guidelines and an independent company has been hired to provide industrial cleaning services.
  • Any potential client that may have been exposed to COVID-19 or is showing symptoms would be denied entry to a shelter. Staff will encourage those individuals to seek medical advice. If they are unable to do so, staff will be prepared to call an ambulance to assist them.
  • Other precautions are being taken to ensure the health, safety and well-being of our clients, including providing maximum spacing between beds and having clients sleep head-to-toe, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

FOOD DISTRIBUTION: Due to the closure of local schools and the pressing need to help our community in regards to COVID-19, Catholic Human/Social Services will be offering two community food distributions to people in need. The events will take place at the following times/locations:

  • Thursday, March 19 from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. at 640 Hemlock Street in Scranton
  • Saturday, March 21 from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Family Center Basement of Saint Rose of Lima Parish in Carbondale

Catholic Human/Social Services of the Diocese of Scranton remains strongly committed to providing critical services to our brothers and sisters in need. In the midst of the coronavirus crisis, Catholic Human/Social Services is working to ensure the safety and well-being of both our staff and the members of the community that we serve.

At this time, Catholic Human/Social Services is following all guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control Prevention and other agencies.

Proper cleaning and disinfection procedures are being followed at all kitchens, shelters, pantries  and CSS locations under the operation of Catholic Human/Social Services.

At the kitchens, specific procedures are being followed each morning, which include cleaning bathrooms with professional cleaner, wiping down all surfaces with an all-purpose disinfectant, sweeping all floors and using a designated bleach mix and wiping down tables and work surfaces with an all-purpose disinfectant. After lunch and/or dinner service, similar sweeping, mopping and cleaning procedures are also followed in the dining room, kitchen area and dish room.

All volunteers and staff are being reminded of proper precautionary protocols, including urging individuals to stay home and limit their contact with others if they are sick and the importance of proper hand washing, especially when it comes to food preparation.

Catholic Human/Social Services is also following CDC guidelines and recommendations for any staff members or volunteers who have travelled to a Risk Level 3 country.

All ongoing programs and large public events/gatherings have been cancelled or postponed at this time. That includes the annual “Bowl for Kids’ Sake” Fundraiser which is held by Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bridge and Host for a Day sponsored by Saint Francis of Assisi Kitchen and the Night at the Races Fundraiser sponsored by CSS Hazleton.

Catholic Human/Social Services also has ongoing communication with its housing and residential facilities in regards to best practices/procedures.

CATHOLIC YOUTH CENTER

Based on Governor Wolf’s order for non-essential businesses to close, the Wyoming Valley Catholic Youth Center closed its doors on Monday, March 16, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. It will remain closed until notice is given by state officials that it can reopen.

Staff were notified of the closure and a message was posted on Facebook for parents. CYC staff also worked to notify parents in person and by phone as soon as the decision was made.

During this time of closure, small groups of staff will complete a deep cleaning and disinfection of the building.  There will only be a limited number of staff members in the building at any one time.

At the request of Luzerne County, meals will still be provided to participants in the Drop-In program. Meals will be prepared at the CYC which can be picked-up at the CYC on Tuesday or Thursday evenings or can be delivered to a participant’s home upon request.

March 13, 2020

Due to the closure of local schools and the pressing need to help our community in regards to COVID-19, Catholic Human/Social Services will be offering two community food distributions to people in need. The events will take place at the following times/locations:

  • Thursday, March 19 from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. at 640 Hemlock Street in Scranton
  • Saturday, March 21 from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Family Center Basement of Saint Rose of Lima Parish in Carbondale

Catholic Human/Social Services of the Diocese of Scranton remains strongly committed to providing critical services to our brothers and sisters in need. In the midst of the coronavirus crisis, Catholic Human/Social Services is working to ensure the safety and well-being of both our staff and the members of the community that we serve.

At this time, Catholic Human/Social Services is following all guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control Prevention and other agencies.

Proper cleaning and disinfection procedures are being followed at all kitchens, shelters and pantries under the operation of Catholic Human/Social Services.

At the kitchens, specific procedures are being followed each morning, which include cleaning bathrooms with professional cleaner, wiping down all surfaces with an all-purpose disinfectant, sweeping all floors and using a designated bleach mix and wiping down tables and work surfaces with an all-purpose disinfectant. After lunch and/or dinner service, similar sweeping, mopping and cleaning procedures are also followed in the dining room, kitchen area and dish room.

All volunteers and staff are being reminded of proper precautionary protocols, including urging individuals to stay home and limit their contact with others if they are sick and the importance of proper hand washing, especially when it comes to food preparation.

Catholic Human/Social Services is also following the previously mentioned CDC guidelines and recommendations for any staff members or volunteers who have travelled to a Risk Level 3 country.

All ongoing programs and large public events/gatherings are also being evaluated at this time.

Catholic Human/Social Services also has ongoing communication with its housing and residential facilities in regards to best practices/procedures.