CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- The YMCA has been serving their community for 150 years in Chattanooga in more ways than one. During the Covid-19 crisis, the organization is doing everything they can to make life easier for students, parents, and senior citizens.
Parents and kids have one less meal to worry about thanks to the YMCA’s MobileFit Program.
“We have sites all around town that we’ll be doing over spring break but this work will continue to make sure that kids are eating healthy and the parents are getting what they need to have a healthy and happy family” said Director of Food Insecure Programming at the J A Henry Community YMCA Ian Ennis.
The MobileFit meal give away is hosted at over 70 different locations.
“We’re just trying to meet people where they’re at” said Ennis. “Obviously it’s much easier during the school year, we’ll meet them at school. We do this program during the summer normally so we just have to be a little more creative.”
For teachers like Charlene Cook, volunteering for this meal giveaway gives her a chance to see her students in person again, “Well these are my kids over here and I love them dearly and miss them dearly so it gives me a chance to see them.”
The YMCA is pivoting their focus by offering childcare services for parents who are first responders or work in health care.
“That’s alleviating the need for child care for those workers so they can focus on community needs in hospitals or as first responders” said YMCA’s Chief Marketing Officer Cara Standifer.
The organization is also lending a helping hand to senior citizens as well.
“We’re doing that reaching out to them individually by making phone calls, emails, providing them with tips, resources virtual classes and workouts. And just making our staff available to them” said Standifer.
In Chattanooga, North Georgia, and Cleveland a combined 900,000 meals were served through the YMCA’s MobileFit and other food programs in 2019.
YMCA leaders are uncertain on how Covid-19 will effect numbers in 2020.