Local food distribution sites established

Printed in The Courier on March 15

Local organizations have announced the creation of an alliance to distribute food to students and families impacted by Gov. Mike DeWine’s decision to close schools in response to the COVID-19 virus.
Representatives of the United Way of Hancock County, City of Findlay, Findlay City Schools and Findlay Family YMCA met early Sunday morning to form a network intended to identify gaps in meals.
As a result, locations for supplemental meal distributions have been established, volunteer and donor support avenues have been defined and an ongoing communication plan to direct those in need to resources has been identified, according to a joint press release issued Sunday evening.
Ohio public schools are scheduled to be closed until April 3.
The following food distribution sites have been established:
Beginning Tuesday Findlay City Schools will offer a grab-and-go meal Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Glenwood Middle School and Lincoln Elementary School for children ages 1-18 from Hancock County. Children must be present to receive the meals.
“These meals include a lunch for the current day and breakfast for the following morning and meals can be picked up at Glenwood’s rear entrance and at Lincoln’s west cafeteria entrance,” said Teresa Welty, Findlay City Schools Director of Food Services.
The Findlay YMCA’s Feed-A-Child, managed by Jennifer Treece and Katie Griffin, will be present at eight Findlay City primary and secondary schools on Tuesdays and Fridays from 4to 6 p.m. weekly to distribute one food bag to every child in need. The pickup locations include Whittier Primary, Wilson Vance Intermediate, Jefferson Primary, Chamberlin Hill Intermediate, Lincoln Elementary, Jacobs Primary, Bigelow Hill Intermediate and Northview Primary. Each bag contains two breakfasts, two lunches, two dinners and two snacks.
“The Findlay YMCA’s Feed-A-Child and its volunteers are prepared to mobilize and join forces with Findlay City Schools to fulfill the needs of our students,” said the Findlay YMCA’s CEO, Paul Worstell.
The Feed-A-Child program may need support for its ongoing efforts, according to the YMCA. To learn more about current and emerging volunteer opportunities as a result of the COVID-19 virus, contact Katie Griffin, Feed-A-Child Coordinator, at 419-422-4424 Ext. 20 or email kgriffin@findlayymca.com or email sarah.mayle@uwhancock.org.
The United Way of Hancock County has established the United Way of Hancock County Relief Fund at First Federal Bank to donate in support of Hancock County residents impacted by recent events and our current public health crisis. All funds donated to this account will be used to meet local needs including supplemental meals such as the Feed-A-Child program which is a funded program of United Way.
Contributions can be made in any amount at any First Federal Bank location in Northwest Ohio. Additionally, checks can be sent to United Way of Hancock County, 245 Stanford Parkway or online at http://www.liveunitedhancockcounty.org/give with “Crisis Response” in the check memo or online comment section.
“We realize there will be emerging needs in addition to supplemental meals as this event unfolds in our community and we want to make sure children and families have access to the resources and assistance they need,” said UWHC CEO Angela DeBoskey.
“There has been conversations about food drives to help pantries so we reached out to Linda Hamilton, CEO at the West Ohio Food Bank, who said monetary donations are twice as cost-effective than food drives due to West Ohio’s ability to buy in bulk and drive costs down,” DeBoskey said.
“The City of Findlay is grateful for the quick response of established organizations within Hancock County as we continuously address the rising issue of food security during this crisis,” Mayor Christina Muryn said. “This collaboration will provide an organized, effective approach in the community.”
Muryn said the City of Findlay is committed to providing the necessary communication channels to ensure the needs of the public are met.
For a comprehensive list of supplemental meals and other basic need resources, visit www.hancockhelps.org