Donning masks and plastic gloves, Mount Carmel Guild staff prepare to distribute groceries to clients. Courtesy photo
Donning masks and plastic gloves, Mount Carmel Guild staff prepare to distribute groceries to clients. Courtesy photo
During a phone call in mid-April, a nurse with Mount Carmel Guild discovered her patient was taking blood thinner medication incorrectly. 

The nurse contacted the patient’s physician, and together, the two worked to get the patient the correct dosage.

The inner-city Trenton, diocesan outreach agency has had to make some adjustments in the way it provides services since COVID-19 restrictions were mandated, but staff want everyone to know that they continue to be of assistance.

“Continuing to provide food and nursing care for the low-income of our community is our mission,” said Mary Inkrot, the Guild’s executive director. “We are open to serve.”

Mount Carmel Guild is in its 100th year of providing services such as home health nursing, emergency assistance and a food pantry, to name a few. 

Recent COVID-era changes for the home health ministry mean nurses no longer meet in-person with their 35 patients in their homes, Inkrot said. Instead, the nurses make weekly calls to patients and remain in contact with the patients’ doctors and family members as needed.

For those without any family, nurses continue to assist with medication management and filling patients’ medical planners outside their homes. 

The food pantry, meanwhile, practices safe distancing between staff/volunteers and the care receivers, as all distributions are handled outdoors. Also, care receivers no longer have to provide documentation to prove that they need food.

“All who come to us, receive food,” Inkrot said, noting that the number of clients seeking services has increased from 25-50 a day to about 70.

“About two-thirds are new faces to us,” she said.

The food pantry distributes food weekdays from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Mount Carmel Guild partners with Catholic Charities Diocese of Trenton on this outreach.

Inkrot added that the Guild also works with several other area nonprofits such as Oaks Integrated Care to provide food for homebound consumers, and also helps to determine if consumers are eligible to apply for SNAP benefits (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).

Donations of food are always welcome, she said, adding that along with shelf staple foods, items that are most needed include cooking oil and mayonnaise, and protein foods such as canned chicken or tuna.

Inkrot also extended appreciation to various individuals, parishes and organizations that have recently hosted food drives to help the Guild maintain its supply. Among them: St. Gregory the Great Parish, Hamilton Square; St. James Parish, Pennington; St. Alphonsus Parish, Hopewell, and St. George Parish, Titusville; Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, West Trenton, and Knights of Columbus councils.