In response to social distancing recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and subsequent actions to protect the public during the COVID-19 pandemic, the East Side Soup Kitchen (ESSK) today will begin serving daily lunches via takeout only, until further notice. Those needing a meal can visit the soup kitchen in the Hunger Solution Center at 940 E. Genesee, weekdays from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.
“Our executive committee has been closely monitoring the situation and today elected to take this step to protect the health and safety of our guests, staff and volunteers,” said Diane Keenan, ESSK Board President. “We are committed to providing nutritious meals to our guests – safely, efficiently and always with dignity and respect. Even beyond our role of providing meals, we serve as a community hub and gathering place, so this was a tough decision to make,” Keenan said. “We’ll continue to do what we’ve always done: Love our neighbors. Feed the hungry. Serve with mercy and compassion. We are operating with an abundance of caution out of care and concern for all those we serve – and all those who make our ministry possible.”
Additional steps ESSK is taking to ensure the safety of guests, volunteers and staff include:
1. Suspending the use of volunteers until further notice. The board will continue to evaluate the
need for volunteers to assist with meal preparation and distribution, as well as to support
2. Increasing frequency of cleaning and sanitizing practices.
3. Adjusting staff schedules and work processes to minimize contact with one another.
4. Staff, board members and staff from Hidden Harvest will receive Coronavirus training from the
Saginaw County Health Department.
Due to the recommendations from CDC, Department of Public Health and State of Michigan for organizations that serve vulnerable populations, the soup kitchen expects to incur additional expenses for items such as cleaning supplies, paper products and takeout containers. Donations to help offset these expenses may be made via the PayPal link at eastsidesoupkitchen.org or by mailing checks to: East Side Soup Kitchen/P.O. Box 330/Saginaw, MI 48606.