Ruby's Pantry in Cloquet will not distribute food to the needy this month due to concerns over COVID-19.

Coordinator Sheila Peterson said the effort has 40 volunteers each month, most of whom are older, and due to the tight quarters of the National Guard Armory and the higher numbers of COVID-19 in the area, organizers decided to cancel the December distribution while they look for a new location.

Peterson said she is going to look at a possible new location on Wednesday, Dec. 9, and hopes to start using it in January.

"We just didn't want to make a last-minute decision to not distribute food this month if we didn't find a new location in time," she said. "So we decided to just be proactive and cancel it now."

By canceling now, Peterson said it gives people enough time to prepare and maybe seek another food distribution service. The Cloquet Ruby's Pantry serves about 200 families each month.

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"We wish everybody Christmas wishes and we're sorry we can't be there to serve them this month, but we shall return," Peterson said.

Ruby's Pantry is a ministry-sponsored nonprofit that distributes groceries monthly with no income or residency requirements. Each guest is asked to donate $20 to receive groceries.

Other Ruby's Pantry distribution locations

  • 5 p.m. Dec. 8 at Peace in Christ Lutheran Church, 5007 Maple Grove Road, Hermantown, MN 55811.
  • 10 a.m. Dec. 10 at Cromwell Park Pavilion, 5577 Cromwell Park, Cromwell, MN 55726.

  • 4:30 p.m. Dec. 17 at First United Methodist Church, 230 E. Skyline Parkway, Duluth, MN 55811.

  • 11 a.m. Dec. 26 at Mission Creek Church, 521 131st Ave. W. Duluth, MN 55808.