Although Glenstone Museum had to temporarily close its doors in November, the hardworking staff has found a new way to serve the community by donating 400 meals per week to local organizations. We talked with Peter Ibenana, Glenstone Museum’s community engagement manager, to learn more about the museum’s new initiative.
Why did Glenstone Museum decide to start donating meals?
Glenstone is committed to engaging with our visitors and community, and we have adjusted our offerings throughout the pandemic to maintain a safe environment. Following the March closure, Glenstone reopened the pavilions in July and waited three additional months to ensure that we could offer a safe outdoor dining experience. We operated the patio dining service for about a month until we closed the museum again in November to help our community’s efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Even during the closure of our galleries, grounds and dining facilities, we want to continue to share our resources. The community engagement department identified local organizations that could benefit from fresh, homemade meals.
Where is the food coming from? Who is making the meals?
The food is prepared on-site by our café team and delivered by associates. Of course, the safety of our associates and the public is our top priority. We follow COVID-19 safety precautions including maintaining social distance among café associates, constant use of KN-95 masks and contactless pickup and drop-off.
How are the meals being distributed?
Our associates sign up for a delivery shift and each bring up to 100 meals at a time to an organization or neighborhood. Each meal (either lunch or dinner) is packaged in advance to ensure minimal contact.
What has the response been like so far? How can people help?
The response has been very positive and encouraging. What stands out even more is that people have asked how they can get involved themselves. We know there are a number of organizations in critical need right now, and we recommend checking local food bank websites for volunteer information. Below are a few suggestions for Montgomery County-area residents:
Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless
Montgomery County Food Council