While school closings, and subsequently many other businesses and institutions, have been disruptive to our everyday lives, community leaders have rallied together to address the nutrition needs of children.
Teresa Welty, of Findlay City Schools, said the school district is supporting students during this time by offering any child under age 18 a grab-and-go sack lunch that includes breakfast for the next day. She said this is an extension of the district’s summer lunch program and works with the National School Lunch Program, providing well-balanced lunches. The school district’s food service staff is working to prepare the meals and distribute them along with several volunteers.
Sack lunches are available at Lincoln Elementary School and Glenwood Middle School between 11:30am and 12:30pm on Mondays through Fridays, either drive-through or walk-up.
“We are prepared to continue with whatever is necessary,” says Welty regarding the district’s efforts. She said the effort is a joint one with Hancock County, Findlay YMCA, United Way, and the Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation.
Development Director Jennifer Treece of Findlay YMCA’s Feed-A-Child program said the program during the school year provides approximately 600 students per week with a bag of food— consisting of six meals and snacks— to take home each weekend. Students are opted in to the program by a parent, serving Findlay City, Van Buren and Cory Rawson school districts. It is supported by Findlay YMCA, The United Way of Hancock County and the Food Security Coalition.
In response to the unexpected school closures across the state, the Feed-A-Child program has increased its efforts. On Tuesdays and Fridays from 4-6pm, bags of food are being distributed at all primary and secondary schools in Findlay, as well as Washington Preschool. Any child can go to any pick-up location to receive a bag, and no previous signup is required. Additional bags are being distributed in Arlington, Van Buren and Cory Rawson.
“It’s the main priority of the YMCA right now,” Treece says of the Feed-A-Child program. The East Branch of the YMCA has become “Feed-A-Child central,” with YMCA staff using the facility to put together food bags to be handed out by around 30 volunteers.
If anyone is in need of food for their children and is unable to pick up a Feed-A-Child bag, they can email Jennifer Treece at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for delivery.
Treece and Welty said there are options available to anyone who is unable to pick up food at the distribution sites, adding that HancockHelps.org— put together by Findlay-Hancock Community Foundation— is a valuable and comprehensive resource outlining the many options to assist with food security within the community.