Sidney Boys And Girls Club Marks One Year In New Building
April 15, 2020 | View PDF
The Boys & Girls Clubs of the MonDak's building passes the one year mark and steps in to assist area youth through the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sidney's Boys & Girls Clubs of the MonDak has been contributing to the community for 16 years. It was just one year ago when the new building at 201 3rd Ave. SE opened its doors to area youth, nobody envisioned an impending pandemic, altering its role in the community.
On a normal summer, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the MonDak steps in to provide children breakfast and lunch Monday-Friday. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of schools, the need developed early; so these days the club's new building is just one of three area sites for local children of all ages to pickup a free breakfast and lunch. The three meal sites are the Boys & Girls Club Building, Sidney Middle School, and Sidney High School weekdays from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
"As a summer food program affiliate, we always serve free meals (breakfast and lunch) to kids in the summer but the USDA did a waiver to allow us to serve kids when school isn't in session now too, so we partnered with the school district and we're feeding upwards of 250 kids a day at three different sites. It started right after spring break and it's continuing to grow. Our staff is all masked and gloved up. We actually deliver the meals now to the vehicles. Meals are delivered on a tray, kind of like the old car-hop where we just bring the food to the car and serve them that way," said club chair Elaine Stedman.
On Fridays the club is also providing a backpack with weekend meals, available at each of three sites until supplies run out. These packs contain two entrees, two cereals, two shelf-stable milks, two juices, and two fruit cups. Fresh fruit/veggies or cheese sticks are also added-food items that have been graciously donated by groups in the community.
"Besides the free meals for children, we're also doing a lot of virtual programming with the kids, we handout weekly packets of activities and then we're doing a live engagement with our social media outlets to give the kids fun activities to do at home." For the meanwhile, the club is still planning a summer program as if it could still proceed, albeit with some modifications. "I'm cautiously optimistic that we'll be able to run some type of summer program but it's certainly going to depend on what the restrictions are at that time. We're certainly going to have to socially distance our kids," says Stedman.
"Thanks to all of the people and volunteers who have stepped up to help with this project by volunteering their time, donating supplies like bags and food, or contributing in other ways. We are grateful for the help of our community and also so pleased that we can serve the youth and families of our area by partnering with the school and others to assist during this difficult time. A special shout out to Pam Radke and her kitchen crew at the high school for all of their hard work in preparing the meals every day," said Boys & Girls Clubs of the MonDak chair Elaine Stedman.