PHILIPSBURG — In these trying times, there are plenty of people and organizations willing to help out those in need. The Moshannon Valley YMCA of Philipsburg is no exception, as it is currently running its Anti-Hunger Program for children at 24 sites between Clearfield and Centre counties.
Branch Director Mel Curtis said they are serving seven school districts — three of which are Moshannon Valley, Philipsburg-Osceola and West Branch.
Curtis said when the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic first started to break, they immediately put a task force together of businesses and organizations and starting compiling items on a daily basis, much like they had already been doing for the YMCA of Centre County’s Backpack Program, which operates out of the Moshannon Valley branch.
“We were up and running immediately,” Curtis said.
Currently, Curtis said they are close to 200 volunteers at the 24 sites and more than 1,000 meals are served daily.
“Every site is run by volunteers,” Curtis said. “Up until now, this has totally been funded by donors and individuals donating food to us.”
The YMCA’s “Travelin’ Table” bus has also been out in the area delivering food to those in need.
“We’re looking to add additional sites as needed in the seven school districts we’re working,” Curtis said.
Starting this week, kids receiving meals on Fridays will be given an additional bag of food for the weekend.
Curtis said the response from the community has been fantastic, while also citing a group of veterans he’s deemed as the “militia” to help out.
“They have unlimited tractor trailers,” Curtis said. “And Hope Fire Company has been phenomenal. They always have guys here working. There’s other organizations that come in but those two have been doing a lot of things to help us out.”
Curtis said they will continue to operate the program until further notice and they are essentially performing the YMCA’s Summer Lunch Program.
“We’ve opened up two central kitchens — one at P-O Middle School and one at Bellefonte High School,” Curtis said. “We are putting fleets of vehicles on the roads to transport the food to the sites.”
Curtis was adamant that every family will receive food for the kids — as no one is turned away.
“We’re truly all in this together,” Curtis said. “We are so blessed to have our (volunteers) jump up and help. I can’t say enough about how the community has helped us. And they’ve always helped us. That’s one of the great things living in the Moshannon Valley — they’re going to rally to help.”
Curtis said all sites are from 12-1 p.m., Monday through Friday. Sites for those in the Moshannon Valley, P-O and West Branch school districts are as currently follows:
- The Wreck Center, Houtzdale
- Madera Fire Company, Madera
- Ramey Fire Company, Ramey
- Hope Fire Company, Philipsburg
- Moshannon Valley YMCA, Philipsburg
- P-O Middle School, Chester Hill
- Osceola Mills Elementary, Osceola Mills
- Columbia Fire Company, Osceola Mills
- Calvary United Methodist Church, West Decatur
- Grassflat Volunteer Fire Company, Grassflat
- Morris Township Fire Company, Morrisdale
- West Branch Area School District, Allport
- Winburne Fire Company, Winburne