GENEVA — St. Peter’s Episcopal Church on Genesee Street is joining forces with the Boys & Girls Club of Geneva to extend the club’s nightly dinner service to Saturdays beginning this week.
The church and its partner, the Beef & Brew restaurant on Main Street, will use the club facilities to prepare and distribute 250 dinners starting at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
“We intend to keep doing this as long as we can during the coronavirus crisis,’” said the Rev. Jim Adams, rector of St. Peter’s. “Our congregation feels strongly about doing all it can to help families through these challenging times.”
St. Peter’s, under the guidance of Adams’ wife, Sue, has served a Wednesday dinner known as “Neighbor’s Night.” The meal has been open to the public and over the decades became a neighborhood tradition. The pandemic, however, forced the church to discontinue the event.
The Boys & Girls Club, which partners with St. Peter’s Arts Academy on a number of youth services, has responded to the pandemic by creating a nightly dinner service in which more than 200 meals are distributed to Geneva families. The club’s dinners are served Monday to Friday and are prepared by Sodexo, Hobart and William Smith Colleges’ food service. Club vans and staff serve the dinner curbside and make deliveries to more than 100 homes.
“Injecting good food into families’ lives is an efficient way to support the whole family,” said Chris Lavin, the Boys & Girls Club’s executive director. “It frees up resources for other challenges, like rent and medicines. We couldn’t be happier that St. Peter’s will join this effort.”
St. Peter’s team will follow the routine the Boys & Girls Club has established. Dinners will be served in wrapped to-go containers and delivered to each car on a first-come, first-serve basis as the car arrives outside the club’s 160 Carter Road location starting at 5 p.m. Saturday. The club’s vans and staff will assist the church in delivering dinners to families that do not have transportation. Residents of Geneva can call the club at (315) 759-6060 to be added to the delivery list.
St. Peter’s also is planning as part of its Saturday night dinner service to prepare and distribute bags of non-perishable groceries to help families extend the food budget through the week.
“These are harrowing times,” Adams said. “Anything the community can do to help children and their families and reduce stress will serve Geneva well.”