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Article Published April 15, 2020
Commitment Has Not Changed
Cheryl Tancreti Campbell

The COVID-19 crisis has brought many changes. As president of Madison Community Services, Inc. (MCS), sponsor of the Madison Food Pantry, I made the difficult decision to close the pantry until further notice. However, commitment to our clients has not changed; what has is the way we put food on their table.

I’d like to share the reason behind the closure, but first, I want to thank everyone offering to help. I love the way our community comes together when needed. I’m grateful to our teenagers who are raising money for us, and to those who have already donated. Every contribution has impact. I’m especially touched by the person who donated $7. They gave what they could, they made a difference. At the heart of every volunteer is that desire to make a difference and closing the pantry felt like a disservice.

In good conscience, I felt it my only choice. MCS is an all-volunteer organization and 90 percent of our staff are 65 or older. When pre-bagging groceries in early March, it was painfully obvious that social distancing was impossible due to the physical constraints of our location. Therefore, our existing client list received or will receive gift cards to local grocery stores. We continue to serve homebound clients, with younger drivers delivering their groceries. Madison Social Services also received cards and will vet new clients on our behalf—another example of community pulling together since we’re not part of town services.

As an independent nonprofit we rely on the generosity of our neighbors for funding. Regretfully, the gift cards, although a solution, aren’t cost-effective. If your readers want to help, they can visit mcsinc.org to donate.

Cheryl Tancreti Campbell, President
Madison Community Services, Inc.