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Sofia Quintero Art and Cultural Center jumps in to help feed the Old South End Toledo students

The center's executive director says there are no schools in the area giving free meals to students.

TOLEDO, Ohio — The Sofia Quintero Art and Cultural center is working to feed people in Toledo's Old South End. 

The reason behind this is food is scarce right now for several students in this community dealing with school closures because of COVID-19. 

"When the schools closed, you know we realized that it was a big need in the community that a lot of the children that go to school are relying on breakfast and lunches. So we wanted to to do our part," said Stephanie Serda, a volunteer with the center. 

To feed the students, the Sofia Quintero Art and Cultural Center is partnering with Escuela Smart, United Way and the Toledo Seagate food bank.

"Through Nana's kitchen we are providing free brown bag lunches to the community. Focusing on students but we're passing them out to anybody that needs maybe help with food right now. So Tuesday and Thursday at noon is when community members can come to our center," said Taylor Burciaga Executive Director, Sofia Quintero Art and Cultural Center. 

Organizers said the food is crucial because there isn't a high school in the Old South End giving away any meals. 

"Local case workers identifying who are the families that they know for sure are in need and you know might not be able to get out here. You know, I volunteer to go and drive some of the families the lunches," said Serda. 

There were several families who have stopped by the center for the free lunches. Most of them did not want to be identified but one family expressed that those free lunches are the only reason they're able to survive right now. 

The center plans on handing out more free lunches again next week on Tuesday and Thursday at noon and however long it can provide them. 

"We already started working with our staff at extending that as obviously information with the virus continues to come out, we understand the timeline more," said Burciaga. 

You can donate to the center by visiting the Sofia Quintero Art and Cultural Center. Or you can send them messages on Facebook if you need help.