Cupboard Launches Hybrid Food Distribution – September Newsletter

Clients Offered Option to Select Foods Inside Cupboard by Appointment or Receive Food Via Drive-Through

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The Holly Springs Food Cupboard is excited to announce the re-launch of indoor food distribution, available by appointment to clients. Before COVID, Food Cupboard clients used to park and visit inside the Cupboard to select some of their food items. However, with the onset of the pandemic, food distribution was converted to the outdoor drive-through-only model.

While the drive-through food distribution continues to remain open during traditional hours, Thursdays, 2-5 p.m., beginning last month, clients were able to instead make appointments to “shop” inside the Cupboard on Monday afternoons. 

“Drive-through food distribution helped the Cupboard stay open throughout the pandemic,” said Cupboard Executive Director Pat Haggard. “And, while drive-through distribution continues to help us serve an increasing number of clients during the traditional timeframe, we are absolutely thrilled to open our doors and offer clients the option to make an appointment and come inside to select foods their households enjoy most.”

Cupboard volunteers have been considering how to best reopen the Cupboard for inside client visits for months. Research on how to transition to a hybrid food distribution model included visits to other nearby food pantries and a survey of clients to determine their preferences. While many clients indicated that they preferred the drive-through model, a percentage also indicated they were willing to make an appointment to come inside the Cupboard.

With limited space outside the Cupboard for parking for both clients and volunteers, and with limited space inside the Cupboard as well, appointments help space visits from clients on Monday afternoons so no area gets too crowded at any given time. 

Cupboard Manager Kim Basden said opening the Cupboard was also important for continuing to focus on operating a healthy pantry. She said many of the clients who have chosen to visit inside the Cupboard make healthy choices between the foods offered. 

“We try to keep a good representation of choices on our shelves,” she said. “I think the ability for our clients to be able to come in and select the foods they enjoy adds another layer of dignity to what we can offer.”

Monday appointments are available between 1-4 p.m. Visits can be arranged via the link on the Cupboard website. As always, clients are welcome to visit the Cupboard once every four weeks for supplemental food.