Helping Hands of Cass County continues to serve during COVID-19 pandemic

CASSOPOLIS — Since Michigan’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” orders were put into place, Helping Hands of Cass County’s process for assisting neighbors in need with food has had to undergo some changes to business as usual.

In the past eight weeks, the pantry has served 351 individuals with food boxes. The normal restrictions to receiving a box have been suspended temporarily, and one of the changes includes how many times a family or individual may receive a food box during the month.

Under old guidelines, a person could receive only one box per month. The pantry’s temporarily revised procedure is being able to receive a food box once a week if necessary.  A person does not have to be on government assistance to get help, nor do they need to show proof of need. The service is available to all who make a request, as many people have been laid-off from work and have not received their first unemployment check, have bills to pay and are embarrassed to come to a food pantry because they have always been able to provide for their family, pantry officials said.

“By coming to the food pantry, you are providing for your family, just under different circumstances,” said Mary Tompi, of Helping Hands. “There is no shame in asking for help.”

Pantry hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Thursday. Clients should come to the back door, ring the doorbell, then return to their vehicles. They will then be assisted.

Helping Hands is located at 130 S. Broadway St., Cassopolis. Staff can be reached at (269) 445-8104.

“We look forward to your visit to our pantry and being able to help you now and if need be, in the future,” Tompi said.