As the school year begins, many students are still learning virtually making it very difficult for families to feed them because they rely on the schools to feed students.

Here is more on how several community organizations are stepping in to feed students.

Wednesday is the first day the Erie School District held it’s food distribution which is available to any student up to age 18 in the community.

This will be held every Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at five different locations around the city including the Metz Culinary Center on 19th and German Street.

Erie school students are able to receive several meals to take home. These meals include frozen entrees, fruit and milk.

These students can come to the meal distribution once a week.

“Many children in general depend on school meals to sustain them, and now with COVID going on so many people not in school or many people unemployed, this is just an extra little help for anybody in the community who has a student to take a little pressure off and make life just a tiny bit more palatable,” said Jenny Johns, Metz Cullinary Management.

Johns said that keeping kids healthy is important for their success.

“Especially our young children who their minds are developing. We need to set them up to success and when you are hungry and not able to concentrate, it makes learning difficult,” said Johns.

The Erie YMCA is also doing it’s part to help feed kids. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, dinners and snacks can be picked up at the downtown YMCA at 10th and Peach Street.

Tuesdays and Thursdays meals can be picked up at the East Side YMCA in Harborcreek.

Tammy Roche with the Erie YMCA said that these food distributions fill a gap for kids who sometimes don’t know where their next meal may be coming from.

“We have been doing emergency meals for children since the pandemic began in the middle of March. So this is just a continuation of that essential service for the community and we will continue to do it as long as we have funding to do it and there continues to be a community need,” said Tammy Roche, Erie YMCA Vice President.

Roche said that the YMCA qualifies for many community grants including ECGRA and the Erie Community Foundation.

To pick up meals for virtual students, families can head to one of five locations beginning on Wednesday September 9th from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The five locations are as follows:

  • Erie School District Culinary Center on 255 East 19th Street.
  • East Middle School on 1001 Atkins Street.
  • Joanna Connell Elementary on 1820 East 38th Street.
  • Grover Cleveland Elementary on 1540 West 38th Street.
  • Harding Elementary on 820 Lincoln Ave.