POMEROY, Ohio – Children and families across Ohio impacted by the coronavirus pandemic are getting a little extra boost with emergency meals supplied by Children’s Hunger Alliance (CHA).
The Columbus- based nonprofit distributed 18,000 ready-to-eat meals to 27 community partner agencies throughout Ohio to help feed children experiencing disruptions amid the pandemic crisis.
Judy Mobley, President and CEO of CHA, said, “We already had 18,000 ready-to-eat meals initially intended to be distributed to 8 schools before the start of their week-long spring break.” When Governor Mike DeWine mandated an early start to an extended spring break in an effort to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, Mobley decided to reallocate the meals to meet the immediate needs of children amid the crisis.
“Within a day of the Ohio Community Action Agency asking me, ‘Do you have access to any meals?’, I received more requests than we could fill. People are reaching out every day asking if we can help. We’re committed to feeding kids whose needs aren’t being met,” Mobley said.
The deployment of the meals started on Monday and concluded today with over 400 meals delivered to Meigs County and 1,000 meals delivered to Pike County early this morning.
Debbie Cundiff, Emergency Services Manager of Gallia-Meigs Community Action Agency, said there has been a tremendous outpouring of support from the community since Governor DeWine announced the cancellation of classes. School busses have started distributing meals to students, and churches and organizations are rallying together to help each other out.
The emergency meals they received today will help feed developmentally disabled children at MRDD as well as pre-school children enrolled at Head Start in both Meigs and Gallia Counties.
Cundiff said, “They know that we have the food and I think they’re picking up today. It’s going to go out into the places where the children are, they’re going to be able to have meals. We’re here to help families, and elderly, and people out here in any way we can, and this is going to have an impact on the children. We’re going to know that they’re going to at least have something to eat during the time that they will not be in school.”
Barb Davis, Early Childhood Director of Pike Community Action, said that there is a high need in Pike County along with opioid and drug addiction issues, and kinship care for abandoned children that strain families’ budget for food. The 1,000 emergency meals they received today will be delivered to families that struggle to make ends meet and lack transportation to access food. These meals will let kids will eat.
Davis said, “We appreciate the 1,000 meals we received and will be working very quickly today to identify those families in need and will get them out as quickly as possible.”
Children’s Hunger Alliance is asking the community to donate to their emergency meal fund by visiting childrenshugeralliance.org if they are looking for ways to support children and families impacted by the pandemic.