The COVID-19 pandemic forced Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula (BGCP) to close their sites. Their hearts, however, stayed wide open.
On March 19, BGCP piloted a dinner program for the families they serve and the community at large at its Redwood City and East Palo Alto Clubhouses.
“The response was overwhelming—we served over 550 meals in just an hour,” said CEO Peter Fortenbaugh. “We have adjusted to 800 meals going forward and will continue to adjust as needed.”
In the last few weeks, the BGCP has served over 25,000 meals. Meals are served from 6-7:30 p.m. Monday to Friday with help from staff and about 20 volunteers. In addition, BGCP has partnered with Second Harvest Food Bank to distribute food baskets to families in East Palo Alto every Friday night.
“These dinners will be served indefinitely,” Fortenbaugh said. “As long as we have food, we will serve anyone who comes with pick up and go meals.”
James K. Harris, senior director of operations at Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula, said his team feels “fortunate to be in a position to step up to serve the needs of our community during this unprecedented time.”
San Mateo County Supervisor Warren Slocum described the effort as another way the community has stepped up at a time of need.
“I have heard from parents who are experiencing financial hardship due to workplaces and childcare facilities closing,” the supervisor said. “This program is a necessary step to help families keep food on the table.”
To donate to BGCP, or for more information, visit here.
Photo credit: Boys & Girls Club of Peninsula’s Facebook page.