CHANGING WITH THE TIMES
The mission remains the same: Following Christ's example, TACO gathers as a community in service with the most vulnerable among us.
The method has changed with the times. In these days of social distancing, the TACO team – staff, volunteers, donors and guests – have had to adjust, and adjust quickly.
Social distancing for an organization that promotes fellowship has been hard. Our guests can no longer congregate around tables and enjoy a shared meal. Our volunteers are masked and gloved and working six feet apart from one another.
But – our guests are fed and fed well. Thanks in no small part to the creativity, initiative and just plain hard work of Food Coordinator Cindy Quinonez, we are still providing hot meals in to-go containers. This was no small feat! Not only did Cindy have to acquire the necessary packaging items and bags, she had to coordinate how to minimize the number of people in the kitchen and the number of food packers to protect our volunteers. Setting up a system for our guests to wait in line – six feet apart – and enter the patio five at a time to walk from table to table, getting hot meals, coffee, socks and hygiene kits has been a challenge. And we have met it, with the grateful cooperation of our guests.
Like people the world over we need masks. And we are getting them, for both our volunteers and, increasingly, for our guests. Cindy has partnered with, among others, the Good Neighbor Project. So far:
GNP donated 100 masks and supplies for making 4,200 more (production in process).
Home quilters from congregations, organizations and individual sewers from around the county have been quick to make and donate over 500 – and counting! - masks from the safety of their homes.
We have distributed more than 230 masks to guests and volunteers;
We have sent 50 masks to a Barrio Logan senior living facility.
More masks are on the way for distribution to guests, volunteers and partner organizations, like Feeding San Diego.
It is a challenging time and we take strength in knowing that by meeting the challenge, TACO continues to serve the most vulnerable among us.