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CLEVELAND (WJW) — Northeast Ohio food pantries want their communities to know they are still operating.

Non-profit “Rise in Love” held its monthly food distribution on Saturday in partnership with the pantry at All Saints Episcopal Church in Parma.

They service about 22 zip codes from the church’s location on W. Ridgewood Drive.

The now drive-thru only pantry flowed with the help of traffic control and separate loading stations for produce, meat, dairy and boxed and canned goods — enough for roughly 300 families.

“We’re trying to keep a variety of food for people as well, people cannot live on canned soup alone,” said Rise in Love President Barbara Sternberg. 

She said there’s more than just food to give out. 

“We provide home supplies as well, so laundry detergent, toilet paper, dish liquid, things that people cannot buy under the SNAP program, this time around we are giving out gift cards to cover that product,” she explained.

The organization is also making regular deliveries to the elderly population.

At the church, Sternberg said there are quite a few new faces. 

“A lot of the newer families coming through have expressed a lot of fear and uncertainty, they don’t quite know what’s going to happen,” she said.

Drive-thru distribution has become the norm for many food pantries as they try to find the safest and most efficient way to meet a growing need.

“People have learned from the first time that we did it that when they came up we said line up and it went very smoothly because you have to remember there’s a need,” said Billie Hill Green, manager at Bridge of Hope Community Center in Cleveland on Lee Rd.

They had their bi-monthly distribution on Saturday serving several of Cleveland’s neighborhoods. 

“Not only just the Lee/Harvard area, we’re talking about even going into the Mt. Pleasant area, people come,” said Green.

They too prepared for roughly 300 families, distributing meat, milk, canned goods, bread and sweets. 

“When the clients come through all they can say is oh, thank you so much you’re open,” said Green.

As she works to fulfill that need, Green also hopes young people will take the virus seriously and follow CDC guidelines.

“Cuz we love you and we don’t want to pick up the paper and see that you have died from this because you don’t have to. Just follow the rules.”

Here are the websites for the food pantries:

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