NA Food Bags Preparations 3

From left, Lynette Testa, scholarship director for the Hockomock Area YMCA, and Caitlin Gibbs, senior director of Health Innovation for the Y, fill family-size food bags to be distributed at Y branches to those in need.

The Hockomock Area YMCA’s 6th annual food drive has been somewhat derailed by the coronavirus crisis, but it is still collecting food.

All branches of the YMCA have been closed by the virus, upending the food drive.

“We are, however, providing food collection bins outside of the YCMA facilities in Foxboro, Franklin and North Attleboro — and the need is greater than ever,” the Y’s Martha Foley said Friday.

She asked area residents and businesses to contribute to the drive to help feed families.

Donation boxes are located outside of the Y’s branches every weekday between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. for nonperishable food items.

Also, beginning next week, the Hockomock Y will be distributing family-size food bags to those in need at the three branches.

Details and schedules are available at www.hockymca.org and will be updated daily.

The Y has been working with school nutrition departments and others to ensure children and families have meals while schools remain closed. It is collaborating in North Attleboro to provide take-home meals to serve children and families. In just four days more than 2,200 grab-and-go meals were distributed. No advanced paperwork or signup is required.

Additional information on food distribution and collection, as well as suggested donation items, is available at hockymca.org.

Y President Ed Hurley acknowledged many area businesses and organizations that have already pitched in.

“CVS Health, Stop & Shop, the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and the Captain Kyle Van De Giesen Award fund have stepped up with generous financial contributions in this time of need,” Hurley said.

If interested in making a monetary donation, contact Katie Moore at katiem@hockymca.org or 508-643-5265.

Over the last year, the Y has worked collaboratively with school districts and food pantries to create take home food programs at local schools. There are now 34 school-based pantries in North Attleboro, Mansfield, Plainville, Wrentham, Franklin and other communities, representing a 90 percent increase in one year.

Stephen Peterson can be reached at 508-236-0377.

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