Supporting our most vulnerable kids and their families.
For many Boys & Girls Club members and their families, the COVID-19 pandemic underscores a critical food insecurity issue. As more and more Clubs and schools are mandated to close, vulnerable youth are left without the meals they rely on daily. Fortunately, Boys & Girls Clubs are providing access to meals so in-need families in their communities have one less thing to worry about during these uncertain times.
Although Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth has closed regular Club operations for the duration of the state-mandated Michigan school closure, they will be providing take-out dinners and snacks for families of all members and youth at its three locations throughout the city, while supplies last. “We are committed to supporting our community’s most vulnerable kids and their families and will continue to deliver the dinner and snacks they rely on five days a week throughout the year,” Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth CEO Patrick Placzkowski said.
Last week Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County CEO Michael Johnson in Madison, Wis., along with Selfless Ambition CEO Henry Sanders, announced the Dane County COVID-19 Emergency Fund with a goal of $50,000. Within 24 hours, the emergency fund raised over $200,000 with donations from United Way and individual donors. Johnson said funds will be managed by a committee of community members and aimed at key critical areas of need, including meals for kids due to school closures, funds to support college students who are in need of temporary housing and meals, and funds to support senior citizens who may need meals, transportation and medical assistance
“When you close schools, that’s going to have a major impact on families and how you feed 27,000 kids in Madison alone. There’s thousands of part-time workers that are going to be impacted,” Johnson said. Johnson went on to say money will be distributed through nonprofit social service agencies but hoped to have systems in place to distribute funds quickly to those in need.
In partnership with the Houston Food Bank, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston will host drive-thru pantries at five Club locations, beginning on March 18th. The pantries will provide one week’s worth of food for a family, including fresh produce and shelf stable items. Staff and volunteers will place food bundles in vehicles, while practicing social distancing and safe, hygienic practices.
“We take the need for families to have access to food very seriously. This initiative is one way we can help bridge the gap. Our staff continues to identify alternative services and programming during this time to meet the needs of our most vulnerable populations,”
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston President & CEO, Kevin Hattery.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington is partnering with Fairfax County Schools on “grab and go” food distribution programs that will provide breakfast and lunch to in-need Fairfax County Club members and families. To further their impact and reach, the Club is exploring additional meal program opportunities with community-based organizations and corporate partners.
As Clubs prioritize the need for access to meals in their communities, Boys & Girls Clubs of America is committed to working with our federal and state agency partners, like the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), to elevate the need for critical resources for our youth, including the distribution of healthy meals, during this pandemic.
For more information on how the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service is offering to ensure access to meals for youth impacted by school closures, please visit: https://www.fns.usda.gov/disaster/pandemic/covid-19