North Light COVID-19 Response
The coronavirus pandemic has put people around the globe in difficult positions, in terms of finance, health, and otherwise. In the Manayunk/Roxborough communities this is no different. Particularly in urban and densely populated communities, stress and tension can run even higher. North Light has worked hard to support its communities while prioritizing the health of constituents, staff, and volunteers.
North Light has been agile and adaptable during these difficult times. We offered childcare for essential workers upon reopening in June. Parents continued to express the need for childcare and we responded by running our annual Summer Camp with strict social distancing and cleaning protocols to ensure a safe and fun environment for all 63 children enrolled.
Our college and career program transitioned to online courses and offered personal development seminars throughout the summer. As many teens continue to struggle with being isolated, we chose to connect with them virtually to ensure we didn’t lose touch and could encourage them during these challenging and uncertain times.
Our Emergency Service Program continued to operate our Food Pantry. Although we couldn’t maintain our Choice model which allows the community to shop, we were able to provide prepackaged bags and boxes of food twice weekly. We also created a menu system for our monthly distribution of nonperishable items, which allowed some personalized food choices. In order to protect our most vulnerable community members, such as elderly and disabled residents, North Light also now delivers food every day that our food cupboard operates, directly to the doorsteps (contactless delivery) of those most susceptible to the effects of the coronavirus.
Thanks to Green Tree Community Health, the Philadelphia Foundation’s COVID19 Fund, FEMA through the Emergency Food & Shelter Program (EFSP) and Acme’s Foundation, North Light received funding to support growing needs for food as well as rent, utility and mortgage assistance.
Although we know that things will not be the same as they were before the coronavirus hit we recognize that this time has created opportunities to expand and meet the new needs of our community. North Light has served the Manyaunk and Roxborough neighborhoods for 84 years. We were developed during The Great Depression, survived a World War, and we will continue to grow and meet the evolving needs of our communities. We will continue to serve people to the best extent that our capacity allows, and connect people to the services that they need. Please never hesitate to reach out. We will get through this together, though physically distanced.