Food bank expands distribution sites for kids “grab and go” meals

Local News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Now that the Savannah Chatham County Public School’s “bus stop” meal services are done for the school year, many people are wondering where to go for meal services.

In this earlier report, WSAV News 3 spoke with school district leaders about the nearly 800,000 meals they have passed out to students since March; but with their summer meal program starting in mid June, a local organization and city leaders are stepping up to keep children fed.

America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia is working with the city of Savannah to expand their food distribution sites. The food bank said they will continue to offer additional meal services until the school year starts back up.

The food bank’s Executive Director, Mary Jane Crouch, said they have passed out more than 200,000 grab and go meals since the end of March, in addition to the nearly four million pounds of emergency food donations they have given during the pandemic—donations she said families have told her have been indispensable to them after “losing their jobs” and struggling to “make their house payments.”

“She said so we’re just trying to maintain and not lose our home and she said now we’ve got to start paying our insurance and we’ve got to go on COBRA and she said so these meals are the only way that I can make sure my children are getting something to eat every day that’s healthy and nutritious and getting them through, and she said it has been just a total godsend to be able to get this food for our children,” Crouch said describing a mother and her two kids who spoke to her at one of the meal sites.

Second Harvest plans to increase their current 40 grab and go locations, by adding sites at public libraries and YMCA’s.

“You just realize that this has really impacted a lot of people that have never used a food bank, they’ve never gotten a free meal, but right now they’re just really struggling to make sure they can pay that light bill, to keep their house. You know, put gas in the car and things like that. So you know if food is one thing we can help them with then that’s what we want to do,” Crouch added.

Every week the food bank posts their grab and go meals on the America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia Facebook page. They will continue to offer the extra meals throughout the summer and plan to go back to their Kids Cafe program once the new school year starts.

All of their sites are open for parents or kids to come up and grab a meal. They estimate they will be offering around 8,000 meals daily. Their food pantries will also continue to offer meals for families every week.

Crouch said they are working with city leaders to make sure every area is covered but she wants people to reach out if they know of a location they should be. You can call America’s Second Harvest at (912) 236-6750.

Click here if you would like to offer a donation to the coastal empire’s food bank.

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