L.I.F.E. Food Pantry, NEST Community Learning Center, NORTHSTAR Care Center Answers the Call for Kids and Families in Need During CORONAVIRUS Shutdown
It began with orders from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine to close schools. Immediately the cry went out for help feeding Loveland schoolchildren who rely on school lunches; sometimes the only meal they receive in a day.
NEST Community Learning Center, L.I.F.E. Food Pantry, and Northstar Care Center were the first call for Loveland School officials concerned about caring for the kids. Evangeline DeVol, Founder & Executive Director of NEST called an “all hands on deck” meeting Sunday afternoon to clarify plans to begin feeding the kids on Monday, March 16, 2020. The first week, NEST delivered 3,735 meals to the families they serve and expect to deliver even more meals the following week.
Providing nutrition for students in need is a major part of the NEST mission year-round, but especially when the kids are out of school and without the assurances of a nutritious lunch. Likewise, providing nutritious meals for Loveland School students is a primary objective of Loveland InterFaith Effort (LIFE Food Pantry) throughout the year. During the NEST meeting, DeVol highlighted plans to coordinate efforts to get necessary food items to those in need. Director of LIFE Food Pantry, Linda Bergholz reaffirmed the coordinated efforts to help the hungry.
It is almost business as usual for LIFE Food Pantry. Not so for NEST. Feeding the kids for what may be an extended period of time is a bit out of the ordinary for the NEST staff and volunteers. It is the reason they met to sort through details of where they’ll be located and how they’ll be sure to reach the students in need. There was great discussion and concern about getting it right, being safe, and truly helping those children in need. The answer came from simply following the laws which guide who, what, where and how they feed the children they serve during the summer NEST program.
Like LIFE Food Pantry during this COVID-19 emergency response, NEST has to do some things differently too. They already began accepting food donations dropped off at Loveland High School 4-6 p.m. They are receiving numerous inquiries from people who wish to volunteer to help.
Another adjustment for NEST is having volunteers sort and package the “boxed lunches” at Loveland High School each day – at least until any additional changes.