ECHO of Brandon recently announced a new initiative called ECHO Shares, which includes a partnership with local faith-based organizations.

ECHO of Brandon has been serving the hungry and vulnerable for 33 years, and the time of social isolation related to COVID-19 is no different.

“I realize that the world feels a bit crazy at the moment, but help is here,” said Executive Director Eleanor Saunders.

The group recently announced a new initiative called ECHO Shares, which includes a partnership with local faith-based organizations.

“Since 1987, ECHO has counted on the support of the local church community,” said Saunders. “Now it is our turn to support you.”

The steps to participate in ECHO Shares are simple.

“We trust you have elderly and/or struggling families in your congregation. ECHO would like to provide you with a bag full of nonperishable items for delivery,” said Saunders.

The group asks that residents confirm with church leadership if their church has the capacity and need for deliveries. Then a representative from the church should register for ECHO Shares with Savanna at 685-0935 ext. 800.

To set up a delivery, the church will need to provide its name and the name, address and number of family members for the delivery.

ECHO will then prepare the bags and confirm a time for pick up.

“We believe together we can help even more,” said Saunders, who also shared that, because the majority of the group’s volunteers are retired, the volunteers have been sent home.

In addition, both of ECHO’s outreach centers will remain open for food distribution.

The group has suspended its six month waiting period between visits policy and will be handing out bags of food based on family size. Due to ECHO’s volunteers being asked to stay home, food distribution is the only service it will be providing at this time.

ECHO has two locations for food distribution: 507 N. Parsons Ave. in Brandon from Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., and 7807 Capitano St. in Riverview from Tuesday to Friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Due to limited support, ECHO will not be accepting clothing, household goods or toy donations. Food will still be accepted at both locations. Financial gifts can be given online at echofl.org/give-today.

ECHO of Brandon is located at 507 N. Parsons Ave. and can be reached at 685-0935.