BUCYRUS — Once again, hundreds of people from Crawford County lined the parking lot at Bucyrus High School on Thursday to pick up food donations provided by the Second Harvest Food Bank.
The organization was at the high school two weeks ago and handed out food to more than 700 families. They were on track to do the same this week, and by 12:30 p.m. they already had 406 households signed up and in line.
Samantha Flores, with the Second Harvest Food Bank out of Lorain, said they had just as many boxes of food Thursday to give out as they did earlier in the month.
“We have some produce, and we have some milk and cheese and eggs today,” Flores said. “The county and city have been so supportive. We’re happy to be welcomed back and we’re happy to be back.”
Army National Guard soldiers volunteered to help sort items and place food in the trunks of vehicles that drove through. The Bucyrus Fire Department, police department and the Ohio Highway Patrol were also on hand to help. Bucyrus City Schools provided the use of their parking lot.
“Just to see them on site was very uplifting to us,” Flores said. “It’s an indication that the city sees the need and recognizes why we are here and the impacts that this can have. We serve Crawford County and we do have a lot of programs in the county and Virginia Hammontree, who runs the city’s Backpack Program, has been been great at getting the word out. So when we reached out to our programs in Crawford County we got nothing but ‘yes, please come.’”
Flores said they are hoping to be back in Crawford County in May for another distribution, but may change locations as some people can’t get to Bucyrus.
“We are open to doing different locations based on the needs that we’re seeing and the ease of people to get to the locations,” she said.
Capt. Stephanie Duarte is with the 37th Brigade Combat Team of the Ohio National Guard, and said volunteers from several units came from all over Ohio to help distribute food Thursday.
“Today we have emergency boxes of shelf-stable items, a produce box, milk, eggs, cheese and frozen items,” Duarte said. “They will get one of each of those items based on households and people can register up to three households.”
“Food is one of the staples of safety and security,” she added. “We are happy to be able to fulfill that need, especially in the time of a pandemic, especially to a lot of folks who might be furloughed or out of work because of the state of emergency we’re in.”
Virginia Hammontree, of the Bucyrus Backpack Program, which helped to organize the event, said 578 families were served. She added that a third visit to Crawford County is being considered. Lunch for the volunteers was provided by the Bucyrus Backpack Program.
Duarte said people started lining up to get food around 10 a.m., with distribution scheduled from noon until 2 p.m. Supply trucks from Third Harvest pulled out at 2:05 p.m.
Second Harvest staged under drive-thru food pantry Thursday in Bucyrus for Crawford County residents. There were plenty of volunteers on hand, including members of the 37th Brigade Combat Team of the Ohio National Guard, to help deliver a little relief to families in need of some of assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.