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Jay County: First COVID-19 Case, Residents Line Up For Food Donations

By Stephanie Wiechmann, IPR News | Published on in Community, Government, Health, Local News
Second Harvest Food Bank volunteers set up a tailgate in late March. (Photo: Roger Hinds / Second Harvest Food Bank on Facebook)

Jay County is seeing its first case of COVID-19.  And as IPR’s Stephanie Wiechmann reports, area volunteers are in the county today distributing food for those who need it during the pandemic.

(Photo: Jay County Health Department on Facebook)

Late Tuesday night, the Jay County Health Department confirmed the county has its first case of the illness caused by the coronavirus.  As usual, the department is giving out no details about the person, and says they are self-isolating at home.

On Wednesday morning, volunteers and staff from Second Harvest Food Bank arrived in Portland, giving away food at one of its scheduled “tailgates.”

“Today we are giving everyone ‘three full families’ worth of supplies per car.  No matter how much you have or how many people you have per vehicle, you get a supply that would ideally serve three families.”

That’s Robby Tompkins, the food bank’s Director of Philanthropy.  He says Second Harvest is distributing food in the eight counties it serves, and this is one of the largest lines he’s seen.

Tompkins says no matter where they’re at, volunteers are keeping themselves and others safe.

“We’ve got masks and gloves, making sure you’re safe and they’re safe.  But we’re making it so easy that we’re just going to pop the trunk, put the items right in the car for you, and make it as simple as possible.”

According to the Indiana State Department of Health, as of April 1, only nine Indiana counties haven’t recorded a positive case of coronavirus.