March 11, 2020- ACO Offices, Pantry and Stores pride ourselves on keeping a safe and clean environment for all employees, clients, volunteers, donors and patrons. Rest assured that during this heightened time of concern over the COVID 19, Flu, and the general public safety that ACO is staying diligent in all efforts for prevention of the spread of germs and disease.

 All locations are cleaned and disinfected regularly and we have increased the frequency of our routines. Hand sanitizers, antibacterial wipes, and disinfecting spray are available at all entrances to our facilities. Our staff and volunteers are continuing to maintain regular hand washing and cleaning of common surfaces throughout the day.

 During this time, ACO remains true to our mission to prevent hunger and homelessness and to provide a path to financial stability. Operations of all facilities and the donation drop off at Butler Drive remain on a regular schedule until further notice. As always, we thank you for your continued support.

 Priorities are to the safety of our staff and those we serve. Contingency plans are in place as needed to alter our processes for meeting with clients and providing services to limit personal interaction.

Effective Immediately:

  • Anyone- staff, volunteers, clients and patrons- who are showing any sign of illness including symptoms of COVID 19 or Flu will be asked to remain at home and not enter any ACO facility. Everyone’s safety is our priority.
  • The ACO Computer Lab is closed as we upgrade our equipment, thanks to a grant from UPS. As soon as the new machines and software are installed we will announce the reopening of our lab.
  • Scheduled “ROAD TO SUCCESS” Orientations and “WORKFORCE BOOTCAMPS” are suspended for the month of March. Dates for April will be announced.
  • Our Client Services team will be offering phone interviews for assistance whenever possible and only appointments that must have a personal visit will be accepted. Utility and rental assistance may be handled remotely by phone, and time slots for distribution at the pantry will be taken by phone until further notice. Every effort will be made for convenience and safety of those we serve.
  • The ACO Food Pantry will begin a new SHORT-TERM distribution system starting March 17 so that clients will not shop, but will receive pre-bagged groceries including fresh produce and dairy, meats and dry goods. We will increase the frequency of distribution to ensure that all families have plenty of fresh food items available. This will limit close proximity exposure to the public and protect our clients, our volunteers and staff. NO ONE WILL GO HUNGRY. Anyone who is symptomatic of COVID 19, flu or infections will be asked to stay home and request needs by phone. The same daily schedules of stocking and distribution will remain in place.
  • Independent Study Options are available to all GED students and guidance by phone will be offered by the Director of Education. No on-site classes will be scheduled until further notice. Appointments with the Director of Employment will be handled in person or by phone on an individual basis.
  • The Treasure Chest sales are cancelled for the remainder of March. New sale dates will be announced in April. This is precautionary for our volunteers and patrons since our space is limited during sales. Other resale operations including donation intake, the Main Street Resale and the Boutique at Watters Creek will continue regular business hours with detail to continuous cleaning and disinfecting.

With these minor changes to our operations procedures, we feel this will offer an extra layer of security to those families we serve, to our staff and volunteers, and to our customers and patrons. We will continue to evaluate our operations as needed. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Aaron Vaughn, Chief Operations Officer or Marjorie Vaneskahian Burr, Chief Executive Officer, 972-727-9131.

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