Our Year in Review continues with a look back at the struggles that many families had in putting food on the table during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the organizations that stepped up to help.
All throughout the pandemic, the YMCA of Greater Erie held free food distributions. Vehicles drove up and are given free milk, fruit, vegetables and a box filled with several meals.
“It’s very nice to be able to help people at the YMCA. People may be laid off from their job and not be able to get as much income as previously, so just to be able to give them an opportunity to get some free food, this might be able to help their income a little bit.” said Jessica Gdanetz, Food Coordinator at YMCA.
Around Thanksgiving, the Second Harvest Food Bank gave out free turkey meals to those in need. This included a week’s worth of groceries.
“In our family this year, there is going to be no gifts. It’s just my dad and I now. It’s just a real tragic time and sad time of the year. They are here to boost us up.” said Marni Alward.
The Community of Caring on East 8th Street offering free meals and a food pantry.
“I had a house and everything like that and now I am a little bit down and it’s a little harder to get back up once you are done, that you realize.” said Mark Emhoff.
The Salvation Army did not let the pandemic stop them from their tradition of giving presents to needy families. The Liberty Street location’s gym was filled with gifts for about 400 families.
“We are continuing to do what we do. The best efforts we can give with the restrictions of COVID.” said Bernie Myers.
The Salvation Army also held its annual Christmas dinner, packing over 1,000 meals.