As we surpass six months of COVID-19 in Austin, many establishments and organizations remain closed. Unfortunately, there are many non-profits trying to stay operational, but having a difficult time finding willing individuals to help them. These non-profits provide critical services within the community, and rely on volunteers to run their organizations. If you’ve been wondering how you can continue (or begin) to serve in your community in these days of social distancing, this may be just the opportunity.
Highlight: Mobile Loaves and Fishes
One of Austin’s oldest and most integral organizations is Mobile Fish and Loaves (“MLF”). A social outreach ministry serving central Texas for over 20 years, they “empower communities into a lifestyle of service with the homeless.” This blog is part 1 of 2 in sharing about MLF’s ministries, which include a food truck, a supportive community (Community First! Village), and micro-enterprise opportunities.
The Truck Ministry
The Mobile Loaves & Fishes’ food truck is driven across the city by volunteers 7 nights a week, 365 days a year to serve the homeless. Volunteers driving the truck assist in delivering food, clothing, hygiene products, and other life-sustaining items. Day-time volunteers help prepare for this nighttime outreach by preparing meals that consists of 2 sandwiches, an egg, chips, dessert, and fruit. Unfortunately, during the COVID-19 pandemic MLF has struggled to meet its outreach needs due to diminished volunteer and personnel numbers, who have been socially distancing for precautionary health reasons.
To continue their ministry to the homeless, MLF has taken safety steps to ensure its volunteers can continue to participate in its outreach safely by limiting each food bagging session to 4 persons and enforcing social distancing guidelines during these sessions. Though it does take the volunteers a longer time to prepare the 125 meals each week, these health measures allow volunteers to contribute their time safely and in compliance with city mandates.
How you can help
If you’re interested in volunteering in person with Mobile Fish and Loaves food truck, please visit https://mlf.org/volunteer/ for more information on how to sign up. If you are uncomfortable with volunteering in person and would rather volunteer remotely, tune into next month’s blog post about Community First! Village volunteer opportunities!
Serving the community in which we all live is a key pillar of our culture here at the Young Women’s Alliance. To learn more about our role in the greater Austin community, click here.