Governor Wolf mandated all schools be closed on March 16th 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The YMCA, along with generous community support, put our mission into practice and began to expand our outreach at-risk feeding program. In John 6:10-12 “Jesus said, ‘Have the people sit down.’ There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted.” Our goal is to continue the work Jesus did and feed the hungry.
With 1 in 5 children facing child hunger in the United States, the number continues to increase, with the lack of access as schools closed their doors. Our feeding program started the pandemic serving 900 meals; we now serve over 8,500 meals a week. The At-Risk Feeding Program will continue to grow the longer the pandemic continues. In a county with over 25,000 thousand school age children and multiple districts at 100 percent students receiving Free and Reduced Lunch, this makes our mission to provide access more important then ever.
As we continue to served more meals in six months (110,000 meals) than all of 2019 (106,469 meals), we know our mission and social responsibility as a YMCA to decrease child hunger in Beaver County will need to continue into the fall to meet the needs of the community and alleviate hunger in Beaver County.
We are very thankful to all of our community partners who stood with us as we navigate how to end youth hunger and make our county stronger.
-Aaron Bingle, Food Service Director