BY ANGELA PRICE [email protected]

CENTREVILLE — At the April 14 meeting, the Queen Anne’s County Commissioners unanimously approved a request from Haven Ministries for $10,000 to help the organization continue to provide essential services during the coronavirus pandemic, including the emergency homeless shelter, food pantries and resource centers.

Haven Ministries Executive Director Krista Pettit made the request in an April 8 letter. She said the resource center provides around $4,340 in financial assistance to an average of 33 people monthly and the food pantries distribute up to 10,000 pounds of food at each of two monthly locations.

“Many more families are beginning to feel impacted as hourly wages are scaled back, businesses in our community are shutting down and the schools have closed,” Pettit wrote.

At the March food pantry, Haven Ministries served 857 people — 100 were new clients.

“As a result of the increased need we now distribute emergency food on a daily basis,” Pettit continued.

From October to April, the shelter served 38 people, including 12 children. “In anticipation of additional emergency conditions we are planning to extend the shelter operations into the summer months,” Pettit said.

Commissioner Jim Moran said Pettit told him the organization had to close its resale shop, which usually brings in about $3,000 a month; cancel fundraisers; and relocate shelter operations from Kent Island United Methodist Church, where the bunks are too close together for proper social distancing measures, to area hotels.

Having to use hotels alone costs Haven an estimated $10,000 a month, Moran said.

The county needs to provide these services, and the best way to do that is through intermediaries like Haven Ministries, Commissioner Steve Wilson said.

The commissioners voted 5-0 to award Haven Ministries the $10,000 grant.

Anyone wishing to make a donation can send a check to Haven Ministries, P.O. Box 44, Chester, MD 21619 or on the website:

Anyone needing emergency food or financial assistance can contact Haven Ministries by calling 410-739-4363. For emergency shelter services, call 410-739-7859.