Program continues to offer free meals

Published 2:42 pm Friday, April 10, 2020

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While the COVID-19 pandemic has changed how things are done for schools nationwide as well as businesses and nonprofit organizations, one local program is making sure it still gets food to people who need it.

The Loaves and Fishes program previously served meals each Monday night out of St. Theodore Catholic Church’s Marian Hall, and while program volunteers won’t be serving the meals themselves amid the coronavirus and recommended social distancing, they will continue to offer the meals in takeout and to-go containers for people to pick up.

Program coordinator Mary Daly said meals, still free of charge and without any income requirements, are available starting at 4:45 p.m. each Monday until about 5:30 p.m. People wanting to pick up the food can do so by coming to the back door of Marian Hall, 323 E. Clark St. in Albert Lea, to receive takeout containers full of food.

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When they were able to serve meals in person, Daly said they typically had about 65 to 70 people show up for meals. The first week Loaves and Fishes started giving out the takeout containers due to social distancing guidelines, about 48 people showed up to get food; the next week that number dropped to about 36. Daly said she worries people in need — and especially seniors — aren’t getting enough food or enough quality food, and wants everyone to know the program is still there for them.

“People still need a hot meal,” she said. “We don’t turn anyone away.”


About Colleen Harrison

Colleen Harrison is the photo editor at the Albert Lea Tribune. She does photography and writes general-assignment stories.

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