Boys & Girls Club turns sites into emergency food distribution centers amid outbreak

MADISON, Wis. — The Boys and Girls Club of Dane County announced in a news release Sunday that they will close their clubs beginning Monday as they plan to use their space as emergency food distribution sites for those impacted by the coronavirus.

The organization also started the Dane County COVID-19 Emergency Fund on Friday to support community members, particularly in light of statewide school closures.

“When you close down schools, that’s going to have a major impact on families and how do you feed 27,0000 kids in Madison alone?” said BGCDC CEO Michael Johnson at a press event Saturday.

According to the Sunday news release, the emergency fund has already raised over $279,000, of their $300,000 goal, in just two days.

Johnson said the BGCDC will work to distribute the aid as quickly as possible to the communities most vulnerable people.

“This is a time of crisis and there’s many who do not know where their next meal will come from, who do not know how they can make their next medical appointment or receive resources. So it is us pulling together within this community to make this happen,” said Dr. Leslie Petty Chair of the organizations’ Board of Directors.

The BGCDC has plans to work directly with grass root organizers who they believe are best equipped to reach those in need.

“Having a trusted individual that they already have a relationship with bring those necessary resources to those who are in our community at this very critical time is super important,” said community organizer Jacquelyn Hunt

The funds raised will aid local shelters, college students, and senior citizens in providing transportation, food, housing and medical assistance. 

The Boys and Girls Club has tentative plans to reopen on April 6.

Those looking to contribute to the fund can visit the donation page on their website.