Jefferson County agencies to provide meals to students, families over Spring Break

PORT TOWNSEND — Community agencies will provide five days of meals for students over Spring Break.

Meals will be available for pickup or delivery for more than 230 students and their families from Port Townsend, Chimacum, Brinnon and Quilcene school districts, the YMCA of Jefferson County said in a press release.

Those in need of meals are asked to email [email protected] or fill out the meal survey at tinyurl.com/PDN-Spring BreakMeals.

Pickup will be at Salish Coast or Chimacum Creek elementary schools. YMCA staff and volunteers will transport meals to any family that can’t go to the schools.

“Transportation is the biggest impediment to accessing food in Jefferson County,” said Genevieve Barlow, YMCA of Jefferson County food coordinator.

Barlow said that some families live in remote areas of the county where it’s difficult to get to a grocery store. Other families have limited means of transportation, such as one car per family that is used by parents during business hours.

The community agencies involved in providing the meals are Jefferson Community Foundation (JCF), the YMCA of Jefferson County, Jefferson Healthcare, Community Wellness Project, Tri Area Food Bank, Port Townsend Food Bank, Jefferson County Food Bank Association, Olympic Community Action Programs, local farms, Grace Love, all four public school districts and 35 volunteers who are helping prepare, assemble and transport meals. Pan D’Amore is also providing bread, and QFC and Safeway have donated paper bags.

This is the third time community agencies have come together in the last year to provide meals to students and families over a school break. Last summer, the YMCA provided 30,000 meals to 325 children, and over the winter break more than 185 students received two weeks worth of meals. The Y’s work in providing meals had been supported by private funders as well as grants from Nourishing Neighbors, the Cross Charitable Foundation, Jefferson Gives and JCF.

“We’re building off what we did last summer and over the December holiday break,” said Wendy Bart, chief executive officer of the Olympic Peninsula YMCA.

JCF has played a significant role in continuing community conversations around food accessibility in Jefferson County. It also awarded the YMCA of Jefferson County with a grant of $10,000 to provide meals to students and families over spring break.

“More community agencies are coming together to create a coordinated approach to support kids and families who would otherwise go hungry,” Bart said.

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