MADISON, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) — The River Food Pantry is ensuring that even during a pandemic, an at-risk population still receives pre-portioned, healthy, and easy-to-make meal kits when patrons pick up their weekly curbside groceries.

The Family At-Home Meals Program — or “FAM” for short — has been in the works since COVID-19 stopped the non-profit's four-day a week free buffet.   

"With limiting the facility to 10 people and people that are under 60, that was a little bit of a worry just how much work it was gonna take," Chef Chris Tuttle said. 

This effort, to help fight food insecurity, began two weeks ago and already participants have taken home numerous cold-cut items as well as simple microwavable meals.

Recipient Eric Wolf said the meal kit program couldn't have started at a better time.

"I’m going through cancer treatments so any little bit helps, and this is enough to help tide me over," Wolf said. "It also saves time, just nice to have food that’s ready to eat.”

"And eventually we are hoping to send out hot meals too, right now they are all going out cold, so it’s a complete meal, with little to no prep," Program Director Helen Osborn-Senatus said.

As the pilot project continues, FAM hopes to expand later this summer with socially distanced picnic tables and possibly a live band playing music for River Food Pantry patrons to enjoy during the pickup times. 

Click here for more information on the program.