Safety first as GBF doors re-open

A man in red sqeezes hand sanitizer from a bottle into a woman's hands outside of the Grimsby Benevolent Fund.
Safety is number one at the now re-opened Grimsby Benevolent Fund. GBF director and volunteer doorman Bob Paul (right) makes sure customers such as Jennifer Pritchard are suitably sanitized before she can enter the thrift store. Marks – Photo

By Tristan Marks

’Safety’ is the watch word at the Grimsby Benevolent Fund (GBF) as the charity organization opens up with limited capacity.
Although the thrift store, donation drop-off and food bank are open, GBF has implemented a number of safety precautions for the foreseeable future.

The following precautions are in place to mitigate the risk of COVID-19:

  • GBF hours are limited to 12 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday;
  • The store is limited to 20 customers at a time;
  • Everyone inside must wear face protection, including customers, volunteers and staff;
  • Customers must wash their hands and receive a cleaned shopping cart from a sanitation tent set up outside of the front door;
  • Those eligible for the food bank will be screened for COVID-19, for those have symptoms or came into contact with someone with symptoms, GBF will schedule a front door drop off;
  • Donated items must be clean and in sellable condition;
  • Donations will be quarantined in a container outside of the building for 24 hours, and;
  • Donations will not be accepted after hours.

“At no time will we risk safety,” said GBF executive director Stacy Elia.

Elia said that there is much relief all around that the organization is starting to run again.

“The team is excited to start up again, and this means a lot to the community, who relies on us,” she said.

“We’re very grateful to the volunteers from the community who came back now that we’ve started.”

However, Elia added that GBF is looking for more volunteers. Many regulars have not returned out of caution, she said.

Elia also said that GBF’s food bank “always” needs new donations from the community to help serve the families who need it.

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