By Emily Jo Wharry
The surge in unemployment amid the coronavirus pandemic has led to longer lines at food pantries in Northeast Los Angeles and, at the same time, new distributions methods to maintain social distance.
The dual need – for food and for distance – poses a logistical and spiritual challenge: At the twice-monthly pantry run by Iglesia de la Comunidad Presbyterian Church in Highland Park, what used to be a two-hour shift for volunteers now takes a full day of work, said Pastor Roberto Ramierez.
The story is similar at Iglesia Pentecostal Esmirna, also in Highland Park, which runs a food pantry once a week. A third local pantry, at Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services in Highland Park, recently switched to distribution by appointment.