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Community, Restaurants Step Up To Support BGCK & Local Families Through COVID-19 Crisis

Kenosha, WI – April 23, 2020 – The Kenosha community continues to rally and support others, after more than a month of mass closures due to COVID-19. Since the stay-at-home order has been in effect, dozens of companies, restaurants and individuals have stepped up offering meals, their time, resources and funds to help families in Kenosha who need it most through these tough times.

The BGCK, along with several other community agencies, is operating a meal distribution site at both the Club and the Orbiletti Center in Lincoln Park. KUSD has been a lead partner of the food program, providing grab and go lunches and a breakfast for the following morning. Nearly 2,000 meals are distributed weekly at the Club’s sites.

Additionally, grab-and-go dinners have been available thanks to several generous donors and a community eager to help. After a Facebook post asking for support to serve dinners was posted around noon on Saturday, March 14th, it was less than an hour before the first response. And after 48 hours of the initial ask, dinners had been covered for the next two weeks. The Club has successfully provided 300+ dinners every week since the initial school closure.

In an effort to support local businesses and families at the same time, the Club recently launched a meal delivery program. With the help of KUSD social workers identifying families, meals have been delivered to families in need without access to transportation. On Friday nights, KUSD counselors pick up and deliver hot dinners from local restaurants to 10+ homes each week. The Club hopes to expand this program to more families as more funding becomes available.

“There are a lot of people hurting right now and I love this new program because it not only helps families, but helps local businesses at the same time,” said BGCK CEO, Jake McGhee. “It’s great that these families get to enjoy an outstanding meal from some of the best restaurants in Kenosha. So far, meals have been delivered from Casa Capri, Rustic Road Brewing Company, Sazzy B’s, Franks Diner and Waterfront Warehouse.”

“This partnership has been beneficial for so many of us,” said Heather Connolly, Principal of Frank Elementary School. “We can support local restaurants, my staff and I get to see the kids through the window and check in on them, and the families are so grateful for a warm, delicious meal. They also get a bag of toiletries and educational items donated by The Giving Bag Organization. We have also been able to reach out to other schools for referrals. It feels so good to be able to do something for our small business community and our families.”

Franks Diner has been a longtime supporter of the BGCK and has been instrumental in providing much needed meals during this time.

“Franks diner is overwhelmed with the generosity of others, keeping our staff and restaurant in business,” said Julie Rittmiller, owner of Franks Diner. “It is also very heartwarming for all of us to do what we can to help families in need.”

If you or your business is interested in purchasing or providing grab-and-go dinners, please contact Jake McGhee at jmcghee@bgckenosha.org.

The Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha is a youth guidance organization dedicated to promoting health, social, educational, vocational, cultural, character and leadership development. The Club helps youth improve their lives by building skills, values and self-esteem. When you support the Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha, you support the kids who need us the most and their great futures ahead. Visit www.BGCKenosha.org/donate to donate today.