By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — During the coronavirus pandemic, thousands of businesses have shut down all across our region and that includes nonprofits that provide services that are essential to many in our communities. Manna is one of the Philadelphia nonprofits making changes to provide services during the outbreak.

Manna provides medically-tailored meals to thousands of people battling life-threatening illnesses.

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Manna CEO Sue Daughtery joined Eyewitness News Wednesday morning.

Q: When it comes to boots on the ground organizations, Manna is really critical to keeping many people healthy and alive. What sort of adjustments have you had to make during the stay-at-home order since you are an essential operation? 

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It’s certainly an interesting time, we are fortunate that the husband of our director of external affairs, Dr. Blair Weikert, kind of really called me to action. The end of February before all the craziness, he knows how dependent we are on volunteers and said we need a plan that will help as this will impact us. So we were really fortunate that we got a little bit of a head start in sourcing to get product in here because everyone knows that’s been a challenge. We really started to ramp up our menu, cook as much as possible, fill more freezers as much as possible while we had the volunteer workforce because we have lost our volunteer workforce by about 70%. So what we are able to manage and we’re controlling the number of volunteers, making sure that we are caring for the most vulnerable, they cannot go out to the supermarket prior to this and certainly now more than ever. We need to make sure we are there showing up delivering them the critical nutrition they need.

Q: So you have been able to maintain your meal deliveries for clients? 

Absolutely, for all of our clients, there’s been no disruption in our service. We’ve actually serviced all our clients a box of shelf-stable products — which is one week’s worth of products. So all of our clients have two weeks’ worth of food at any given time. Just in the event that God forbid something happened that we would not be able to deliver.

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