April 2020 – TELFORD, PA
The quiet of largely deserted rural roads was broken by two trucks, headed to a hub of activity. The loading bays at Godshall’s Quality Meats were filled with company trucks and trailers from a half dozen retailers. When the two unmarked trucks backed up to the doors, a stream of cases were loaded in on their way to Camden. This donation was headed to the Touch New Jersey food pantries and could not have been more timely.
“Godshall’s donations provided breakfasts to people who haven’t eaten breakfast in weeks “Gerald Davis explains. Davis is Executive Director at Touch New Jersey Food Alliance, operating two food pantries in Camden and Pennsauken, New Jersey. Both facilities are in what’s classified as “Food Deserts”, areas without adequate nutrition available even in the best of times. Urban areas are often most effected by difficult situations, and the Covid-19 pandemic impacted New Jersey disproportionately. Scores of people found themselves without work and with many stores closed. “We’re seeing a lot of new people, folks who never expected to need our services, coming to us for the first time, up about thirty percent. The need is very real.”
Back in Telford, that need was answered. “We’re happy to help whenever we can.” Ron Godshall, President of Godshall’s Quality Meats stated. “We see it as our patriotic duty at this time to execute a three-point plan: Keep our family of employee owners safe, keep the great American food supply safe and flowing, and keep folks fed, especially in hard times.” Godshall’s has been succeeding on all fronts. Rigorous new standards of hand washing, sanitizing, protective gear and distancing are in force everywhere. Protective barriers were proactively installed and visors were commissioned early, now worn throughout the production area. Far from shuttered, Godshall’s is a blur of determined activity, adapted to a new reality, and purposeful in the goal of filling increased orders from retailers whose customers now prepare nearly all meals at home.
“But we saw opportunity in the inventory of food service items made available by the temporary closure of restaurants and food service institutions”. A call to Mr. Davis at Touch New Jersey put their intake crew in action, picking up the large donation and getting it to their pantries, which are open four hours a day to serve the needs of low-income, elderly, and disabled citizens. The haul of bacons and other smoked meats was distributed in just three hours.
“That’s a win-win” Godshall and Davis agreed.