BY KADE MIROS
Ever since the world shut down due to COVID-19, many lives have been affected. Lots of people have become unemployed or their hours have been cut at work and are receiving less pay than usual. Now that schools are shut down, families have to use every penny to feed their children who are normally fed through school lunch programs. Fortunately, many different solutions to this problem have started in Wadsworth.
Kelly Gnap, the food service supervisor at Wadsworth High School, has recently been doing lunches with a group of administrators and volunteers who deliver the meals to six locations.
“We’re now serving almost 200 meals per day and about 1,000 per week,” said Gnap.
Different lunch pickups are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:30 am to 11:00 am.
Food stands have popped up around town with essential necessities such as canned food, jelly and boxes of mac and cheese. Those in need can come and go and grab whatever they need for themselves or their families to help them meet their every day nutritional needs.
These food stands are strategically set up in places with high visibility like telephone phone poles or at the end of someone’s driveway on a busy street.
Jeremy and Caeden Lowe originated the idea of making these food pantries and many have taken inspiration to make pop-up pantries of their own.
“I work at WestField Insurance and when COVID-19 started, we had a little meeting with them saying that they were going to be sending us home and not coming back until all of this subsided,” said Jeremy. “So I told my fellow employees that when you’re off work, do something nice for your neighbors.”
The Lowe’s started the food pantry idea the next day and they made their first one.
“I’ve made about ten pantries but in Wadsworth there are about seven more plus a dog pantry,” said Jeremy.
Jeremy’s whole family actually helps out with this.
“My wife usually runs around town and fills some of them up with essentials,” said Jeremy.
To make a donation or have any questions, the Lowes ask to be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Lowes are not the only ones trying to make a difference in their community. Tiffany Leonard, a nurse at Akron Children’s Hospital, started a Facebook page called Feeding Friends and Family. The page has grown rapidly with almost 500 members.
“I was concerned that so many people were going to lose their income on such short notice and I figured it was a good time to help those,” said Leonard.
Communities from Wooster and Orrville actually contacted Leonard just to ask how it all started and how they could help their communities.
“People can make donations to my PayPal account or the Facebook page called Feeding Friends and Family,” said Leonard.
With all of the resources that have been made available in our community, hopefully families who are struggling have many options available to help them with their nutritional needs, thanks to our many hometown heroes.