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Local

Kishwaukee Family YMCA, Barb Food Mart join countywide effort to feed families during COVID-19 crisis

Kishwaukee Family YMCA staff member Elayne Young puts a bag of food into a car Friday at the facility in Sycamore. The Northern Illinois Food Bank has partnered with the YMCA to help provide food bags to families in need.
Kishwaukee Family YMCA staff member Elayne Young puts a bag of food into a car Friday at the facility in Sycamore. The Northern Illinois Food Bank has partnered with the YMCA to help provide food bags to families in need.

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DeKALB – Mark Spiegelhoff said the Kishwaukee Family YMCA has provided food for around 100 families in need so far with the help of the Northern Illinois Food bank.

“The YMCA throughout the years is always concerned with food insecurity,” Spiegelhoff said Friday. “We have demonstrated that by making sure that the children in our childcare and day camp programs do receive nutritious meals everyday they’re in our care.”

The Y began partnering with the Northern Illinois Food Bank a few weeks ago, and will continue offering a bi-weekly drive-thru pickup of non-perishable items for families in need every other Friday, from noon to 2 p.m. The pick-up is free on a first-come, first-serve basis, and no appointment is necessary.

The next pickup will be from noon to 2 p.m. April 24. Drivers should come around the back of the YMCA building where a Y volunteer will place the bag or box of food into the trunk or back of their car, maintaining proper social distancing.

“So this to me is an extension of that where even though the Y is not opening and servicing children and programs, we can still do our part to help those who are food insecure in our community,” he said.

Barb Food Mart receives $5,000 from DeKalb Township

Another area agency looking to ensure families in need are well fed in DeKalb County received some extra help to make sure that mission happens.

The Barb Food Mart, located at the south end of Huntley Middle School, 1515 S. Fourth St., received a $5,000 donation from DeKalb Township, according to a news release.

The money will go to help offset costs of additional food being purchased as the number of DeKalb County residents in need rises due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic crisis in its wake.

The number of people coming to the pantry each week has more than doubled since March.

Barb Food Mart is open from 4:30 to 6 p.m. every Thursday. Those visiting the pantry must have a child or grandchild enrolled in a school in District 428 and register with Barb Food Mart by emailing their proof of school registration to barbfoodmart@d428.org.

Parents are asked to order a pantry box online between Wednesday and noon on Thursday to ensure enough boxes are packed, the release state.s.

The Barb Food Mart also has been providing aid to District 428’s meal pickup program. About 60% of district students qualify for free and reduced lunch provided to families during the remote learning days.

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