As schools and other institutions locally and around the world close to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, many individuals and families are cut off from critical food assistance resources. Kids and seniors are particularly affected. The YMCA of Dane County is temporarily closed to protect public health, but the Y will help meet community food assistance needs by immediately launching two programs at seven locations in Madison and Sun Prairie to provide free, daily meals for children and adults.

The Sun Prairie YMCA is leading a partnership of several community organizations to provide breakfast and lunch to kids 18 and under in Sun Prairie. The program begins today with 100 grab-and-go meals available Monday–Friday, 11:30–12:30, at four sites:

• Sun Prairie VFW Post 9362, 349 S. Walker Way

• The Element on Main Apartments Clubhouse, 102 Park Circle

• Rolling Prairie Apartments Clubhouse, 415 S. Bird Street

• McKenzie Family Boys and Girls Club, 232 Windsor Street

This extension of the school lunch program will provide each child with two meals: lunch for the day and breakfast for the following morning. Per federal regulations, each eligible child must be present at the site to receive their meals.

We also wish to provide adult nutrition, especially to seniors, who may experience their own challenges visiting stores and buying food during the pandemic. The will fully subsidizing a separate, drive-up meal program that launches today with the distribution of 125 daily meals at YMCA branches:

• Drive-through meal pick-up at

o East YMCA, 711 Cottage Grove Road, Madison

o Sun Prairie YMCA, 1470 Don Simon Drive, Sun Prairie o West YMCA, 5515 Medical Circle, Madison

• Monday–Friday, 3:30–4:30 pm

• Meals available to anyone that drives up

Volunteers help operate a program at our East Y that provides year-round meals two days per week, but in accordance with social distancing guidelines, a small group of YMCA staff will manage meal packaging and distribution. Additionally, all seven food assistance sites will continue to operate through the regularlyscheduled spring break periods of area school districts.

“The YMCA is and always has been built to serve the community,” said President/CEO Mark Westover. “It was a struggle to close our doors, but that doesn’t mean we are closing our hearts to the community. We are leveraging our strengths and redeploying our resources to serve those in our community with the greatest needs at this time.”

Anyone wishing to lend a helping hand to neighbors in need can support the YMCA’s food assistance efforts by donating to our Annual Campaign at ymcadane.org/support-y/donate.

 Find out more at ymcadane.org.

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