BRISTOL, Conn. (WTNH) — Coffee, food, and compassion are being served up six days a week at The Agape House in Bristol. The charity typically acts as a day center for the local homeless community; but now, due to the coronavirus outbreak, it’s had to shift to a curbside model.
“We are open [mornings] from eight to nine doing grab-and-go-type meals and we’re able to serve outside,” said volunteer Christine Thebarge.
She added that, in recent months, the need has grown beyond just those experiencing homelessness.
“With people’s jobs in limbo, food insecurity happens,” Thebarge said. “So again we have people coming from all different places.”
The nonprofit is run 100% by volunteers and donations and serves up to 45 people each morning.
Homeless populations have faced food insecurity long before COVID-19. Now, this need persists along with some new obstacles.
Agape House Volunteer Daniel Guido told News 8, “In the first few months everything was shut down where they couldn’t even go grab a lunch and it was difficult to find a restroom or to find water, to fill up a water bottle.”
To combat these new hardships, the Agape House is filling these grab-and-go bags with more than just food.
“We actually do a zip lock bag, we have some wet wipes so people can wash their hands, clean up, do what they need to do,” Thebarge explained.
Not to mention soap, hand sanitizer, and masks are on-site to keep this vulnerable community safe in a time when it’s harder than ever to get what they need.
Thebarge says that even in a crisis like this, their mission remains the same.
“Whether we serve on the street or we serve inside,” she said, “the root of a relationship and giving that hand up stays the same.”
To donate: https://www.theagapehousebristol.org/donate