HANCOCK COUNTY, Ohio — As Ohio schools remain closed, Hancock County organizations are working together to make sure local kids are getting their daily meals.
The United Way of Hancock County has partnered with Findlay City Schools, the Findlay YMCA and the city of Findlay to supply daily grab-and-go lunches for all Hancock County students up to 18 years old.
But, local leaders say they need to ensure that future volunteers and organizations can continue to support this initiative for weeks, or even months to come.
"The next couple of weeks will really determine how we're going to go; what works for longevity. It's important to us that the resources are sustainable for the long run, it's not just one week's worth of resources," United Way of Hancock County CEO Angela DeBoskey said.
With so many businesses and schools shut down temporarily, soon more and more people will be looking for assistance just to get by.
Workers and volunteers are answering phone calls every day, letting people know which of their partnered non-profit organizations can help residents through this stressful time managing a sudden lack of childcare, food insecurity, no transportation and even mental health stress; all while still following Governor Dewine's mandate of social distancing.
"How do we do it in the safest possible way? And we just have a very great and generous community. So, how do we organize it in such a way that their time is being used meaningfully, and it makes a great impact?" DeBoskey said.
Along with connecting people with services, the United Way has established a fund to help non-profits if they take a funding dip over the next few weeks.
Anyone can donate at all First Federal bank locations.
This week, leaders with the United Way are searching for more volunteers, as many of their established volunteers are older.
"A lot of our non-profits rely on volunteers that are in the most at-risk categories, and those folks are not being able to come into those organizations. So, we're saying, 'How can we help you? What are your greatest needs?' And we're doing an assessment right now to be able to figure that out," Deboskey said.
If this is the first time that you have needed to reach out for some assistance from any of United Way-partnered organizations, you can find an entire database of local non-profits and the services they offer, by clicking here.
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