STEUBENVILLE – Urban Mission Ministries is preparing to put its mobile summer pantry on the road for a third year, ready to reach up to 300 children per week.
Scheduled to start on Friday, the MSFP will operate as a free 10-week program available to children aged 1-18 from Friday to August 12, said Cynthia Lytle, Director of Program and Community Development at Urban Mission.
The mobile pantry will operate on a first come, first served basis at the following stops:
– Ridgewood Place Apartments, Wintersville, 11:30 am;
– Briarwood Apartments, Wintersville, 11:55 a.m.
– Elmer White Family Units, North End, Steubenville, 12:25 p.m.
– Heritage Place Apartments, Place du Marché, Steubenville, 12:45 p.m. and
– Earl Rogers Plaza, South End, Steubenville, 1:10 p.m.
Times vary for each pantry stop, and parents and children will be asked to check delivery times for the nearest pantry stop, Lytle noted.
Food products for the mobile pantry are available through partnerships with the Mid-Ohio Food Collective, as well as other community contributions and sponsorships. Funding for the mobile pantry is provided by the United Methodist Appalachian Ministry Network and the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, according to Lytle.
Volunteer, donate money or provide in-kind donations of “Child-friendly foods, individually wrapped” are ways the community can get involved, noted Lytle, who can be contacted for information or questions at (740) 282-8010 or visit urbanmission.org.
“Joining the Urban Mission on the Mobile Summer Food Pantry route this year will be our friends at the Sycamore Youth Center, the Public Library of Steubenville, and the Jefferson County Bookmobile and Family Recovery” Lytle explained, noting that Sycamore came alongside the MSFP on the mission last year.
In addition to joining the Mobile Pantry Route, the Sycamore Youth Center run by Director Bobbyjon Bauman will serve food / meals from its location at 301 N. Fourth St., Steubenville, every Friday from 11 a.m. at 13h.
For more information on the Sycamore Summer Food Program, contact Bauman at (740) 409-2692 or visit sycamorecenter.com.
The presence of Sycamore with the MSFP implies “Donate different foods that children can eat that day as well as food that they can eat on weekends when local schools are not serving food.” “
“We will be working in partnership with the urban mission on this as the two groups will be going to the same sites to deliver food at the same time so that people can receive the food at the same time each week and get food. food from the two agencies, even if the food will be different ”, he noted. “Sycamore will distribute long-life meals that the children can eat immediately, while the mission will distribute foods that will most often need to be prepared. “
Bauman said Sycamore staff met with library officials Sarita Asawa and Jennifer Cesta “And we’re thrilled to announce that not only will we be partnering with the urban mission, but the Bookmobile will be joining us on June 25, July 16 and August 6 for our pantry stops in Steubenville and Wintersville. “
Parents will have the option to register their children – and themselves if they wish – for a library card, according to Bauman. This can be done on the bookmobile, and parents will need identification and proof of address such as a bill.
The presence of the bookmobile pleases Cesta, the library’s public relations coordinator.
“I think it’s wonderful that the bookmobile is at these stops and that we can register children as well as parents for a library card if they wish to receive one. This is the first step in getting the books in their hands and presenting them to the library if they haven’t been there already.
The summer food program continues to turn into something more, Lytle agreed, noting that last year, “God blessed us with a van. “
“Last year was the first year that Sycamore went out with the Urban Mission, so they join us again, then Bobbyjon brought the library,” she said. “And then you’re going to start to see Family Recovery hang out with us and see the Jefferson County Health Department a little bit, so it’s even more fun for the kids and some surprises too.” she said.
This brings resources interspersed with fun into the mix, according to Lytle.
The mission program was reduced from two days a week to one as it was held on Wednesdays and Fridays. “Thank God there are other people in the community who are filling some gaps this summer. “
“We predict that this first Friday will see between 100 and 135 children. That’s how we started last year, but every Friday we could see up to 300 so we’re really excited and we have some big stages in Wintersville ”, Lytle commented.
In response to COVID-19, the mobile pantry will implement several health and safety procedures, including:
– As an alternative to manual selection of foods by children in the mobile pantry, all foods will be pre-packaged and distributed;
– All GFSM staff and volunteers assisting children at pantry stops will be kept informed and adhere to current face covering requirements.
– GFSM staff and volunteers will set up line markers at each stop to help participants maintain a distance of 6 feet while in line; and
– Hand sanitizer will be made available to participants at each pantry stop.