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Meals on Wheels Executive Director Sharon Benson poses for a portrait on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in south Cheyenne. Benson recently announced that she will retire on Dec. 31. Michael Cummo/Wyoming Tribune Eagle

CHEYENNE – After operating from its spot at 2015 S. Greeley Highway for the past 14 years, the resale mart managed by Meals on Wheels of Cheyenne will discontinue operations effective Sept. 30.

The mart, which closed March 16 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will reopen to the public with limited capacity and reduced hours beginning Wednesday, July 8, and will continue operations until Sept. 30, according to a news release.

“The mart has provided a much-needed service for the Cheyenne community for many years,” Executive Director Meg Kylander said in a statement. “It was strategically designed to generate revenue to help offset operating costs associated with the preparation of therapeutic meals for the homebound in Laramie County.

“Unfortunately, the mart has seen increasing costs and decreasing revenues in recent years. Multiple options were carefully considered by our Board of Directors, and it was collectively decided to discontinue its operations.”

When the mart opens to the public Wednesday, customers will notice some changes. To reduce existing inventory, the mart will no longer accept donations. Store hours will be Wednesday through Friday from noon to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Customers will be required to practice social distancing.

The number of customers in the furniture building and clothing building will be limited to 10 and 12, respectively. Since many of the staff and volunteers are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19, the mart must operate in a safe and cautious manner.

“The safety, health and wellbeing of our meal recipients, customers, volunteers and staff remains our top priority,” Board President Tyler Gibbs said in a statement. “We will continue following guidance from health officials to ensure our clients receive the meals they need, and we will adapt as needed to operate the Mart safely. We ask for our customers’ help by wearing face coverings and respecting our efforts to provide a safe shopping environment.”

Meals on Wheels of Cheyenne has continued preparing and delivering meals throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff and volunteers have conducted regular outbound calls to clients to monitor their well-being and ensure they have necessities needed to safely remain at home.

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