ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) - The Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office is turning to the public for help to donate supplies to those in need amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“To be frank, we’re swamped at this point and we need the public’s help in providing some additional assistance,” said Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher.
During a press conference Friday morning, authorities displayed some of the most sought after items requested by elderly and homebound residents, who are shut in by COVID-19.
“This tent here will be our donation tent,” said Fletcher. “We’re asking the public to come here any day 9 to 5, we’ll have deputies available and bring those items that are on the list: toilet paper, diapers.”
Six weeks ago, the sheriff’s office formed a help team comprised of 20 deputies, who in addition to delivering supplies, also provide prescription pick-up.
“The demand is growing rapidly,” said Ramsey County Sheriff Deputy Andrew Johnson. “We’re getting a lot more calls. We’re getting a lot more requests. The need for supplies is growing. We’re doing our best to meet it, but we need help.”
The increased demand comes as stay-at-home restrictions in the state begin to lift.
“Even though Minnesota is opening up officially, every professional in this field knows that the number of cases in Minnesota is going to increase dramatically in the next month,” said Fletcher.
Authorities are also teaming up with a number of organizations, including the Sanneh Foundation, to distribute free groceries. Friday, volunteers loaded up bags of food as vehicles waited in line.
“We’re out there to help,” said Ramsey County Sheriff Deputy Jose Nochez. “We’re doing our best, but we can’t do it alone. Please help us, help others.”
Homeless shelters are also seeing a need for small flat screen TVs. Donations are being accepted at the sheriff’s water patrol station on 5 S Owasso Boulevard W in Little Canada.