COVID-19 UPDATE: Four more items to help during the shutdown

Report 1: A coronavirus story from Garfield Park tavern owner
Report 2: Boner Centers offers link to help Near Eastsiders cope with pandemic
Report 3. Kroger to accept SNAP benefits for pickup
Report 4: Library and YMCA team up to help parents with essential jobs

1. A coronavirus story from Garfield Park tavern owner

Photo Above: Richard Woelfel holds down the bar at Barringer’s Tavern as he waits for carryout and delivery orders to be picked up. Barringer’s, along with many local establishments, have relied on local support during this uncertain time. 

Urban Times has offered on its website to help tell the stories of merchants dealing with the stay-at-home restrictions. This report comes from Patrick O’Donnell, a Garfield Park resident and co-owner of Barringer’s Tavern in The Old Southside. The report was provided by the Garfield Park Press.

By Patrick O’Donnell

For over 140 years, Barringer’s Tavern has been part of the Indianapolis community.  After being re-established in March 2019 by new ownership, the support that Barringer’s Tavern and its team members are experiencing is tremendous. 

Like many other eating and drinking establishments in the state of Indiana currently only able to offer carryout and delivery, the challenges caused by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic have been financially daunting. 

We’ve had multiple repeat customers and many new customers come in for the first time in the name of supporting local small business. With the support Barringer’s is receiving, all team members are still employed and able to earn paychecks.

We’ve had some real cool and positive stories that have come from this period. In our first week of carryout/delivery only, a woman from Kansas City was driving to Indianapolis, saw us on Facebook and stopped in to get dinner for herself and the family members she was visiting in Indianapolis.

2. Boner Centers offers link to help Near Eastsiders cope with pandemic

The John Boner Neighborhood Centers has created a CARE team to assist neighbors in coping with the challenges created by COVID-19. Click the link here to find information on the CARE team and other resources available through the John Boner Neighborhood Centers. 

3. Kroger to accept SNAP benefits for pickup

Central Indiana Kroger supermarkets will be accepting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for pickup by Tuesday, April 21. The low-contact, convenient service allows customers to shop online for groceries on or the Kroger app and pick up their order curbside at a nearby Kroger store. 

“Kroger is rolling out a payment capability across our nearly 2,800 grocery stores to allow more customers to access fresh, affordable food and essentials through our Pickup service,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO. “We are committed to supporting all families as we work together with our associates and communities and government agencies and health organizations to flatten the curve during this unprecedented pandemic.”

“Kroger is excited to offer the SNAP/EBT payment option,” said Colleen Juergensen, president of Kroger Central Division. “This means even more customers will have access to the convenience of Kroger Pickup and the physical distancing offered by curbside service.”

How Pickup Works:

1. Choose a preferred store location on or the Kroger app

2. Shop and place order for groceries on or the Kroger app

3. Select a pickup date and time and SNAP/EBT as the payment method. If you’re using an EBT card, present payment method at the time of pick up

4. An associate shops for the order

5. When it’s time to pick up the order, look for the pickup signs in the store’s parking lot and pull into the parking spot then call the number on the sign to let an associate know.

6. An associate will bring the order out and load it into the car. At this time, EBT card customers can complete their transaction via a mobile point-of-sale system and pay for ineligible EBT purchases or any remaining balance with a debit or credit card

Kroger currently offers pickup at more than 2,000 stores across America. Already live in Ohio, Kroger anticipates having the ability to support EBT card payments at all stores by the end of April.

4. Library and YMCA team up to help parents with essential jobs

The Indianapolis Public Library is partnering with the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis to help parents whose jobs are deemed essential during the COVID-19 crisis by delivering books to their children ages 5-12 who are receiving day care at various YMCA centers.

The centers are using the Library’s Bunny Book Bags that consist of board books focusing on early learning concepts such as ABCs, numbers, colors and shapes, along with picture books of various stories that highlight diversity. Also provided are chapter books that cover all reading levels and interests. The materials are part of the Library’s existing collection being made available for checkout to the facilities.

YMCA centers receiving Library resources are the Baxter YMCA, Benjamin Harrison YMCA, Irsay Family YMCA at CityWay and Jordan YMCA. All except the Benjamin Harrison YMCA are new sites that the Library will incorporate into its ongoing schedule of locations where it provides books for children. The Library is also providing books to YMCA affiliate locations at the Ruth Lilly Health Education Center (for IU Health staff) and the Traders Point Christian Church Downtown in The Old Northside (for Eskanazi and EMS staff).

“Books and reading inspire creativity and confidence among our youth, and it’s a privilege for the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis to partner with The Indianapolis Public Library to provide safe and easy access to resources for the children of our community’s essential workers,” said Derrick Stewart, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis.

In addition to books, the Library has an array of online resources that can engage children, including picture book read-alongs, educational games, streaming movies, and e-books and e-audiobooks for children of all ages.

To comply with safety standards during the current health crisis, Library staff will thoroughly clean each book with disinfectant wipes and check for damage before it is sent back out for use. While at the YMCA, children are assigned to small groups of no more than ten.

To learn more about the Library’s free resources, visit Individuals can also call the Library hotline at 317-275-4184 or text at 317-333-6877 to receive help from a Library information specialist. Personal assistance is also available through the contact link on the Library’s website. In addition, for information on essential childcare services at the YMCA, go to