AntFarm closes cafe, continues to aid community
As of today, April 2, AntFarm Café & Bakery is closed for takeout. Though Executive Director Nunpa said the business had "great protocols in place," out of a feeling of responsibility and caution he decided to close the café entirely to the public.
The public health crisis, as it has for countless others, has meant a series of very extreme and fast-paced changes for AntFarm. As of a few weeks ago, Nunpa noted, all of the management staff for the nonprofit youth core organization were effectively (temporarily) laid off. Many of those folks are still working, but as volunteers.
"That's because we believe in the mission," Nunpa explained. "We want to continue to help kids and families and be very sharp in our focus."
He added that he's optimistic that the accommodations made by the recent stimulus package will help his employees financially without requiring them to seek other employment until he can bring them back.
AntFarm will still continue to offer bread and fresh vegetables for sale, but those who are interested will need to contact the café to arrange a pickup.
Moving forward, Nunpa said the organization will launch several online classrooms, for youth involved in AntFarm's programs. Nunpa also plans to start an informative podcast on topics yet to be determined.
He and volunteers have also made a concerted effort to reach out to kids and senior citizens in the community on a regular basis to assess how they might help.
"Day by day we're just moving with (this situation)," Nunpa explained. "We're shifting. This (pandemic) is just beginning in some ways and we need to be socially responsible."
For now the community connects program, which offers yard work and other services for the elderly and disabled, is still running but with a small number of adults at the helm. Nunpa noted that for some in the communities they serve, even having their yard maintained and looking nice seems to help their mental well-being, so volunteers will be providing services while asking residents to maintain their distance.
"Once we get into a safe place again we'll get kids back out working on the trails," Nunpa said. "We're really moving forward with purpose right now. It's obviously a completely different situation than we ever considered, (but) it's the time AntFarm needs to step forward, not step back."
For those able to donate, AntFarm can accept online donations at antfarmyouthservices.com/time-keeper/ or you can contribute by dropping off bottles and cans at the AntFarm Bottle Drop, 38600 Proctor Blvd., Sandy. Volunteers are utilizing utmost caution in retrieving the donated items.
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