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A Kentucky-based nonprofit born as a result of the coronavirus pandemic is hand-delivering groceries and other essential items to community members who otherwise can’t get to a food pantry.
Maria Accardi and Constance Merritt created Bringing Justice Home last year after recognizing that food pantries were hit hard by the pandemic, losing both supplies and needed volunteers.
They began delivering groceries and other essentials to people experiencing poverty and food insecurity as well as those with chronic health conditions who were unable to leave their homes due to the virus.
For Accardi and Merritt, though, it was never just about delivering groceries.
“A much bigger company like Amazon could deliver food boxes to a lot more people than we ever will,” Merritt told Fox News. “But we’re really trying to build a community where people look out for each other and share resources, outcomes and dreams.”
By facilitating access to critical goods with the help of community members, the duo hopes to create a “community, if not a world or a country where everybody has what he or she needs to live a healthy life,” Merritt said.
Merritt and Accardi partnered with numerous local organizations that could help point them to people in need. In one instance, Merritt recalls a woman who had cancer and her oncologist talked to a social worker and said she was not eating what she needed.
By August, the duo, equipped with donations from people in the community, made their way to a local Kroger grocery store and embarked on their first delivery.
Since then, they have been receiving droves of donations, helping them to feed dozens of what Merritt and Accardi call their “neighbors.”
“Bringing Justice Home uses the word ‘neighbor’ to refer to those we serve, rather than ‘client,’ in order to normalize our interdependence, eliminate the stigma of needing help, and demonstrate our desire to build just relationships,” their website, Bringing Justice Home, reads.
Merrit’s job is to contact each person and figure out the “kind of food that they need rather than just the food that’s available.”
Meanwhile, Accardi focuses on ordering the food while staying within their budget.
“$20 gets people household supplies,” Merritt said. “$50 dollars gets people enough groceries maybe to make ends meet so that they’re not hungry or skip meals for some days.”
To date, the duo has at least five or six volunteers who are now helping to make dozens of deliveries each month.
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