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Volunteers help pack weekend meals for Findlay YMCA's Feed-A-Child program

On average, the non-profit hands out about 500 meals a week to local elementary students.

FINDLAY, Ohio — With food costs on the rise, more local families are looking to non-profits for help, and those non-profits are in turn looking to volunteers to get the job done.

From the factory line to the volunteer line, these workers from Freudenburg NOK spent Wednesday morning bagging up weekend meal bags.

The Feed-A-Child program through the United Way of Hancock County and Findlay YMCA hands out an average of 500 meals a week to elementary schools across the county for families who need the extra food.

Coordinator Jessica Nichols says since the federal free meal program ended over the summer, demand has been up for the meal bags sent home every Friday that include two breakfasts, two snacks, two lunches and a dinner.

"It is huge. It's very helpful to have this many people. So far we've packed about 900 bags this morning in the last two hours," Nichols said. "I'm hoping we can get about another 600 done and that will last us maybe for a few weeks here."

The program has been going on for about 10 years now and focuses on handing out food that kids can prepare themselves in case their parents aren't home.

"We try to make sure that it's food the kids can prepare on their own. The ravioli cans have pop tops, Easy Mac they can just put water in and heat it in a microwave," Nichols said. "We like to make sure it's easy because some of the kiddos' parents are out working."

Credit: Jon Monk
Feed-a-Child volunteers were a part of the Fall Days of Caring with the United Way of Hancock County

For this volunteer crew today, taking time off their day job to work for a non-profit was payment enough in itself.

"The joy of knowing what you're doing makes a difference and that it's helping someone, as well as we have a lot of fun. These are your coworkers, your workmates. So, while we're working, we're talking and getting to know each other," volunteer Ashton McDonald said. "It's a win-win in both scenarios."

Feed-A-Child hosts similar packing events on Saturdays every four to six weeks as need demands. 

You can sign up to volunteer for those packing events by going to the United Way of Hancock County's website.


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