BALDWIN TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – Updates given Sunday in connection with the Baldwin Borough Food Kitchen.
KDKA reported on Wednesday that due to the coronavirus problem, the pantry coordinator, Gail Mikush, said he could no longer operate outside the Baldwin EMS building.
Meghan Schiller from KDKA knows that the pantry will now set up shop in the Baldwin Library and Mikush gives him a virtual tour.
“There’s spaghetti sauce, juice, some drinks,” he said, pointing out the new location.
Peek inside the Baldwin Borough Food Pantry Sunday while showing volunteers wearing masks and unpacking after a big step.
“Because you interviewed us last week, librarian Jennifer Whorley called me and offered us a temporary room while the building was closed and then she had to get council approval that night,” Mikush said.
A big increase, he said, since this past Wednesday when KDKA first interviewed him about his worries about the kitchen.
At that time, Mikush expressed frustration at the need to move his pantry from the Baldwin EMS building, the room he had called home for 30 years.
Before this story aired on Wednesday, KDKA contacted Baldwin EMS several times to learn more about the reasons for kitchen relocation and also possible solutions. Baldwin EMS head Todd Plunkett sent an email to KDKA on Saturday which contained a media release outlining several details.
This release states, in part:
“The location of the food bank, which has been stored in the EMS facility for 30 years, is located directly in the center of the EMS crew operations area. This decision was not made lightly but it was determined that EMS workers who would become, and continue to be affected by COVID-19, not be in contact with the public (food bank workers and the community receiving food distribution) at their stations. ”
The release continues by saying:
“Contaminated personnel, equipment and ambulances returned to the EMS station and decontaminated at this location. On March 16 our department liaison to the food bank notified the head of the food bank that changes and alternative methods and locations needed to be made. “
Mikush said that he understood Chief Plunkett’s concerns, but hoped everything had been “handled differently.”
He told KDKA on Sunday that he greatly appreciated the assistance given by Baldwin’s first responders last weekend.
“The assistant head there was named Chris Dell – he was truly an extraordinary person. He arranged this yesterday and he also arranged our distribution last month Mikush said.” He was truly extraordinary and I cannot thank him and the personnel enough. EMS. “
The Baldwin Library posted several photos to Facebook, showing the first responders in action when they volunteered to relocate thousands of pounds of food.
A good solution for now, Mikush said. But he is still actively looking for a new permanent home pantry.
“As of now, we only have 3 other places that we are waiting to hear and we can check and if we don’t have anything at the time the library needs us to get out of here then we have to dissolve our organization, Mikush said.