SUMTER, S.C. — Staff at Sumter United Ministries is asking for help to keep their food pantry stocked and people cared for during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The ministry offers food, shelter and financial support to people in need across Sumter County.

Now, they’re preparing for a shift in operations as the threat of COVID-19 looms.

“We hope to keep the shelter open no matter what happens,” Executive Director Mark Champagne said. “That even means that, if someone is infected, we hope to be able to keep our shelter open so that person has a place to go, even though being somehow quarantined in a way within the shelter.”

They’re asking for food, money and volunteers to assist.

“We know there’s going to be a lot of need for food. Obviously, if you go to the grocery store you can see that there’s going to be an issue at some point,” Champagne said. “Then there’s people… not being able to work so we know that there’s going to be income shortages.”

Food can be delivered to their office on South Artillery Drive Monday- Friday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

For more information on how to donate or volunteer visit their website.