Contributed by Amy Andrews
Friendship Trays has been delivering nutritious meals to elderly and infirm individuals in the Charlotte area for more than 40 years. Friendship Trays clients face isolation and concern over access to food each and every day. The irony of today’s situation is that so many of us are suddenly facing those very fears, perhaps for the first time ever.
According to Lucy Bush Carter, Executive Director of Friendship Trays, “a big part of what we do is providing nourishment for the body and soul of our clients. The food is important, but we are also providing human connection.”
Because of the current challenges surrounding the outbreak of COVID-19, Friendship Trays has had to quickly adapt their services. They are currently providing daily meals to 120 of their most at-risk clients and are triaging their roster of 400 additional clients with outreach via phone calls. Friendship Trays is utilizing their small team to cook, organize and deliver meals to protect the health and well-being of their clients and staff. They are also dropping meals in coolers at doorsteps to avoid any in-person contact.
Many Charlotteans are asking how they can help. “We’re at the beginning of a journey that none of us have ever been on before,” added Carter. “The biggest thing everyone can do now is to look at their role as a community member, be responsible and follow the guidelines set out by the experts. Everyone has to do their part.”
Friendship Tray’s most pressing concrete need is funding to continue their work. You can help provide meals to those in need by giving here. A donation of $35 will cover meals for an individual for a week. Any amount is received gratefully.
Normally Friendship Trays relies on their dedicated volunteers and small staff to keep things running. “Many of our volunteers are accustomed to coming every day,” says Carter. “They are an important part of our lives. They miss us and we miss them.”
Friendship Trays is particularly appreciative of the support they’ve been receiving from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Community Engagement. CMPD assistance has been critical during this uncertain time, particularly with making meal deliveries.
Carter continued, “People are so thankful we can continue to serve them. Everyone has been extremely supportive. We are taking one day at a time and we look forward to when we can return to serving our community as we normally do.”Thank you to the Amy and Brian France Foundation for presenting this year's #SpotlightOnCLT content series!