GENEVA — To limit the potential of spreading of the coronavirus, the Boys & Girls Club of Geneva was forced to suspend normal programming this week while its members stayed home.
Rather than close, however, the club decided it could use its food and academic support services to support club and community members.
The club formed a call center and began arranging for food deliveries. Academic support began when schools delivered work packages to the students this week. The number for the call center is (315) 759-6060.
“A lot of Geneva kids count on the schools and our club to meet their nutrition needs,” said Allauna Overstreet Gibson, assistant executive director of the Boys & Girls Club. “We wanted to make sure this health crisis didn’t lead to hunger among our members.”
Monday’s deliveries and pickups totaled 120 and include spaghetti, meatballs, vegetables, fresh fruit and cookies. Food is being supplied by NY Kitchen in Canandaigua and Sodexo at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and is funded in part by grants and local donations.
On Wednesday, the food and other items were packed and delivered throughout the city. The club hopes to keep this service going throughout the school closure and, if possible, make it available to other community members in need.
“A lot of people have called and asked to volunteer in this effort,” said Executive Director Chris Lavin. “We have the staff and food handling rules make volunteers more challenging, but we could use donations to cover added food costs. With job losses, we expect the need to rise well above our normal levels. We are also helping families with hygiene and cleaning supplies.”
Donations can be made by calling (315) 769-6060 during business hours or by mail to Boys & Girls Club of Geneva, 160 Carter Road, Geneva NY 14456. Donations also can be made on line via the club’s website: bgcgeneva.org.