By Lisa Carolin
The latest news on the pandemic and how it is currently affecting Michigan means changes at Faith in Action in Chelsea.
The food pantry is open to shoppers by appointment only. Curbside grocery pick up is also an option, and clients are asked to call at least a few hours ahead of time.
The FIA clothing room is open to anyone, and appointments are no longer necessary. Only two shoppers are permitted in the clothing room at the same time.
“Due to ongoing variant questions and the essential nature of our work, we are still requiring all building visitors to wear masks until further notice,” said FIA Director Sheri Montoye.
Donations of seasonal clothing, small, useful household items, and shelf-stable foods are being accepted during FIA’s hours of operation. Donations are not being accepted outside of business hours. To see FIA’s current pantry needs, go to https://www.faithinaction1.org/donate/.
“Financial donations are always appreciated and can be made in the Chelsea building drop box, by mail, or at the website (www.faithinaction1.org),” said Montoye. “FIA is a 501c3 nonprofit established over 40 years ago to serve the Chelsea and Dexter school districts. We have recently also added Scio Farms and Grass Lake to our food pantry access service area.”
Services offered by FIA include health benefits navigation, onsite laundry and shower, vehicle repair help, utility shut off prevention, eviction prevention, employment assistance, and occasional pet food. There is also durable medical equipment available in addition to the clothing room that is open to anyone.
FIA’s hours are currently Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Wednesdays 9 am.-7 p.m. and Fridays 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Anyone interested in volunteering at FIA can find a form on the website. If you are interested in volunteering weekly, you must be over age 16 and available for a regular long-term weekly 3.5 hour shift.
“The Dexter FIA food pantry will reopen on July 28 from noon-7 p.m. and no food appointments are necessary,” said Montoye. “Curbside orders will be available in Dexter, but orders need to be made by the end of the day Tuesday at the Chelsea office by calling 734-475-3305.”
Montoye says the new pantry in Dexter is estimated to be completed in March 2022.
“FIA is the largest Human Services/Assistance organization in Western Washtenaw County and annually supports over 200 households in the area,” said Montoye.
“Financial eligibility for a household is up to 200% of the federal poverty level, and includes anyone in a household who prepares meals together.”
“Staff, board, volunteers, and clients are grateful to the greater community and supporters who stepped up to provide crucial support during the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Montoye. “We are all in this together and by working as one, we did an incredible job of making sure our community was able to weather this storm for the past 16 months.”